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Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Rowan, Rowan, Rowan.

For those disheartened by the seeming hardline stance taken yesterday in Dar Es Salaam by Archbishop Rowan Williams, check out:
He made this speech back in 1989, while still a Professor of Divinity at Oxford University. That same year he established the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality. I don't think he's really changed his opinions since then, he just feels he's got no choice left but to offer some sort of compromise to the conservatives. His statement yesterday, “It’s an experiment. Pray for it” suggests in blunt terms that even he doesn't think it'll work without some sort of miracle.
It's certainly a sad day when someone who once challenged tradition so intelligently with words like: "it is both wicked and useless to hold up the sexuality of the canonically married heterosexual as absolute, exclusive and ideal", then decides to appease an intolerant and backwards-looking Christian Right with a measure that is likely to polarize the Anglican Church further. On the other hand, I don't envy poor Rowan his task of holding together a group of such diverse and extreme viewpoints. He is no doubt tired after five years presiding over all the squabbling. In an interview with the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad, back in September last year, William was asked:
"Do you in your heart of hearts ever despair that Anglican unity can be saved?"
He answered: “Despair is a very strong word, but there are moments that I really don't know whether it is still possible. I just know that I have been given the task to preserve what unity and integrity there is.”

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