Friday, 8 June 2007

Time Magazine interviews Rowan Williams

For his last official act before a three-month sabbatical, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams chose a joyous one. He ordained the Reverend Canon Humphrey Southern as a new bishop. The ceremony took place in London's St. Paul's Cathedral, and the crowd smiled to see Williams, the tousle-headed, professorial leader of the Church of England and titular head of its global offshoot, the Anglican Communion, reveling in his mellifluous baritone as he prayed, sang and performed the rite of ordination. "Will you strive for the visible unity of Christ's Church?" asked Williams. Answered Southern, "By the help of God, I will."

By the help of God, indeed. Almost from the day he took over in 2002, Williams, now 56, has been attempting to prevent a schism among the world's 79 million Anglicans. It has been a horrible task. Within months of his taking the job, a simmering debate on homosexuality exploded into a brutal battle, pitting some of the wealthiest and most liberal of the church's 38 provinces, notably those in North America, against a larger, more socially conservative group concentrated in Africa and Asia and known as the Global South. Read more

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