Friday, March 16, 2012

COULD IT HAPPEN?


A week or so ago, I circulated to a few friends the picture above of Archbishops Rowan and Sentamu with my caption attached.  I did not publish the picture because I thought it might harm the cause of defeating the Anglican Covenant, since diocesan synods in the Church of England are presently voting on whether to adopt the proposed covenant.  If it was believed that the ABC would be forced to resign if the covenant was defeated in the CofE, and Dr Sentamu might be his successor, the members of synods might be deterred from voting against the document.

Today the ABC announced his resignation, and the BBC is already speculating on Dr Sentamu's chances of being appointed to replace him, so I doubt that my picture and caption is likely to influence the vote.  In truth, I doubt that it was likely to influence the vote, had I published earlier.
Dr Williams's successor will be a political appointment, with the advice of the Prime Minister playing a decisive role.
Dr Sentamu has been closely identified with Dr Williams's efforts to find a suitable compromise in the row over the status of stand-in bishops.
But in any case, by the time Dr Williams's successor takes over, the women bishops row will probably have been decided.
In the political area, Dr Sentamu has firmly opposed himself to David Cameron. He has led Anglican opposition to the proposal to allow same-sex partnerships to be designated as marriages.
Not appointing Dr Sentamu would certainly attract comments that the Archbishop of York was being set aside on political grounds.
That might or might not be justified - but appointing a bishop who was outspoken in support of gay rights as Archbishop of Canterbury would probably make it impossible to restore unity between the Anglican Communion allied to Canterbury and Gafcon.
The final paragraph in the BBC quote is laughable.  "...outspoken in his support of gay rights as Archbishop of Canterbury..."?!  Where does the BBC get its information?   
  
H/T to MadPriest for the information from the BBC.

19 comments:

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Mimi--If you haven’t already seen it, I recommend reading Chris Hansen’s comment at The Lead:

Breaking: Rowan Williams stepping down at year's end

He notes that age is a big strike against +York.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Doxy, I read Chris' comment, and I hope he's right.

Josh Thomas said...

I think you're misinterpreting the BBC remark. "If a pro-Gay archbishop were appointed, that would break ties with Gafcon." Which is likely true.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Josh, the Archbishop of Canterbury has quite often not spoken out for gay rights. He's now fighting against Parliament's proposal to allow gay marriage in England. So what is the BBC saying, then? That we must have an ABC who is less supportive of gay rights than Rowan in order to bring GAFCON back to the fold? Well, that is true, but I hope the powers of appointment don't buy into having to bring GAFCON back into the fold when they make their choice.

Frankly, I found the paragraph muddled and couldn't quite make out what the BBC meant.

Kevin K said...

Mimi,

I think the intent of the last paragraph is to communicate that the candidate will be or should be someone closer to Dr. Sentamu's positions to hold the communion together.

Kevin

Grandmère Mimi said...

Kevin K, you're probably right, and that's not good news.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Frankly I think the wise in England will realize that the unity of the C of E is more important just now then the fractures in the WWAC. My money's on Bishop Alan... Fresh thinking is needed.

York, if chosen, would be chosen in the mode in which John XXIII was tapped -- someone to hold the places for a few years. I don't know that his health will bear him up in this -- it is a deadly job.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tobias, Bishop Alan would be a splendid choice, but I fear there is little chance that he will be appointed. For one thing, Alan is a suffragan. For another, he speaks his mind in a way that bishops more careful about preferment would not. Still, I'd like to be proved wrong.

Wade said...

I believe the difference between Rowan and Sentamu would be that Rowan KNEW what he was doing was wrong and sinful. Sentamu would be little different in policy, but he'd actually think he was doing the right thing. However, if one day the Spirit were to touch his heart, and he realized what the repercussions to actual people were he'd be a strong ally. Whereas Rowan knew and didn't give a damn about right or wrong.

IT said...

There was a comment in the ATLANTIC profile on Rowan Williams that said he sacrificed truth for unity and wound up with neither. Could anyone else have done better? I guess it depends on what "better" means. Technically the Communion is still intact, if a bit frayed, but given that a number of bishops won't share the table with a number of other bishops, that seems a fig leaf. The outcome was inevitable, really, the question is whether it could have been managed in a less damaging way. Well, the CofE is undergoing what TEC did, and we'll see.

Given how much RW bent backwards for the cause of RC "ecumenism" I wonder if he will wade the Tiber, in the end?

Grandmère Mimi said...

Wade, since I can't read Rowan's mind and heart, I can't judge that he knew what he was doing was sinful. I feel sure that he justified what he did in some way.

IT, I read the perceptive piece in the Atlantic. Some of the commentary I've heard and read makes the job appear close to impossible. Then, why does an impossible position even exist?

Wade said...

I can't read his mind or heart but I can read what he wrote before he became the caricature he's become, and I firmly believe that he knew better.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Wade, I know what you know, too. Still...

SCG said...

I think that ++Rowan will be much happier in the academic setting again, and I wish him well. Perhaps he might consider inviting another retiring bishop, Gene Robinson, to give a lecture at Magdalen College some time in 2013...
Pro-gay? He seemed to be that before the job. In the position, he has been anything but.

Grandmère Mimi said...

SCG, I'm sure Rowan will be more contented at Cambridge than at Canterbury. And wouldn't it be a nice surprise if he invited Gene to give a lecture to make partial amends for barring him from Lambeth?

Pfalz prophet said...

I understand that the selection of Rowan's replacement is influenced by the PM. Given Sentamu's past conflicts with Cameron, I don't think I'd give him high odds at this point.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Pfalz prophet, I read somewhere that if Sentamu was not appointed, then it would be viewed as a political move by Cameron. Still, I don't think it's likely that Sentamu will be the next ABC.

Paul (A.) said...

You must know that there is an internet petition supporting Boadicea Geraldine Granger as Rowan's successor.

What better choice could there be?



"No no no no no no no no no no no no yes."

Grandmère Mimi said...

Paul (A.), I know. I've been meaning to get over there to sign the petition, but I haven't had time. I can't think of a better candidate.