Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rowan's Dream: Focus of Unity

There has been much brouhaha in the last few days about a note that the Archbishop of Canterbury sent to Central Florida's Bishop Howe. If you haven't been following the story, ENS has it here. For more detail and nuance, visit Thinking Anglicans for the background here, then the updates here and here.

When Rowan Williams was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, I was very happy. I thought he was a fine theologian for the 21st century. But he has made quite a muddle of his office. He may go down in history as The Great Disappointment.

But there is this comfort for him: He and others before him have argued that the See of Canterbury is the "focus of unity" for the Anglican Communion. He seems to have earned that position. Through his lukewarm, temporizing statements, he has finally managed to be the Focus of Unity. The one thing about which folks seem to agree is that he is maddening. It's clear from the wildly left-wing blogs as well as the rabidly right-wing blogs.

Of all the comments I have seen, my favorite is this from Father Andrew Gerns.

Perhaps Rowan Williams should visit the local passport office and get himself a visa to become a permanent resident of Laodicea. I think he'll fit in quite well there.

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