Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Archbishop Williams Building Bridges

Episcopal News Service reports that "Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is chairing the ninth annual Building Bridges Seminar in Washington D.C. from May 25-27."

Quick! What do you think may be the important bridges that Rowan Williams might need to help build?

This is the Rowan Williams who took less than 12 hours to condemn the election of Mary Glasspool as a bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

This is the Rowan Williams who refused to criticize Uganda's "kill the queers" legislation -- which was backed by Uganda's Anglican leaders -- even after most civilized governments and the United Nations did so.

This is the Rowan Williams who refuses to whisper a word of criticism against Bernard Malango, the retired primate of Central Africa, who protected Nolbert Kunonga (now deposed bishop of Harare), despite considerable evidence that Kunonga’s ardor for Robert Mugabe had led him to commit various crimes, including incitement to murder.

This is the Rowan Williams who declines to question the role of Nigerian ex-primate Peter Akinola about his role in genocide against 700 Muslims in Yelwa in 2004.

This is the Rowan Williams who threw his friend Jeffrey Johns under the bus, after nominating him for the position as Bishop of Reading.

This is the Rowan Williams who excluded only one duly elected bishop from the Lambeth Conference, while inviting possible murderers. Of course, Gene Robinson was the one bishop who was excluded. Apparently, it's worse to be gay than to collude in murder or genocide, in the view of Rowan Williams ... who is about to lecture religious leaders on building bridges.

So there are certainly many bridges that Archbishop Williams needs to build or mend. And with whom is he building them in the Washington conference?

According to the ENS story:
Since 2002, Williams has chaired the annual seminar, which brings together leading Muslim and Christian scholars from around the world to explore issues at the heart of the two traditions.
The ninth annual Building Bridges Seminar is titled "Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Tradition and Modernity."
I have a suggestion: Perhaps the Archbishop could engage the Anglican Communion primates and bishops on "perspectives on tradition and modernity." Maybe he would then quit beating up the modern (or post-modern) churches of the Communion while molly-coddling the pre-modernists. Just a thought.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Note: Thanks to Jim Naughton and his marvelous post for helping me so quickly round up several of the Archbishop's more wacky stances in one easy reference.


Blogger Unknown said...

Brava, Lisa, brava! What a fine summation of the low points of a the ABC's hypocrisy.

5/26/2010 9:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Bishop Clumber, I'm honored by your visit and grateful for your words.

I must also credit Jim Naughton (as noted in the last paragraph) for making my job so very easy.

5/26/2010 9:56 AM  
Blogger susan s. said...

Really good, Lisa! He has been a disappointment in so many areas. Maybe he could head a seminar titled 'burning bridges.'

5/26/2010 11:10 AM  
Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

I think if he is building bridges, it would be in the spots where he previously torched them to ashes. Sigh.

5/26/2010 11:23 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

Lisa, Everyone,

Please read this -

I'm just too depressed to comment more on it.

5/26/2010 11:34 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

Let me try a hotmail link:


5/26/2010 11:38 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

If that man ever built a bridge, it went over the River Kwai.

5/27/2010 2:14 AM  
Blogger SCG said...

I'm thinking that a "bridge building" between Rowan and Muslims will lead to more pain for LGBT people, particularly in Africa and Asia.
I agree with those who say this seminar should have been called, "Burning Bridges"... particularly since he is on THIS side of the pond.
And thanks to you and Jim Naughton for detailing his many low points. Deep sigh.

5/27/2010 7:36 AM  
Blogger JimB said...

What SCG said. Every time Dr. Williams builds a bridge it is to a homophobic institution. One has to wonder if there is an end to it.


5/27/2010 10:35 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks to you all. I am gobsmacked that Rowan Willaims wants to build a bridge with Muslims, but is so immensely blind about building bridges within the Anglican Communion. As you have observed, within the Anglican Communion, he seems to specialize in burning bridges. What's what about???

5/27/2010 9:59 PM  
Blogger Donald Newsom said...

I would remind all participating in this discussion, that as a homosexual man myself, I am disturbed at the developments mentioned during Rowan Williams’ tenure. However, this diatribe reminds me all too much of the perception I had, and to great extent still have, of the Southern Baptist Church’s position on homosexuals that is condemning both sin and sinner. I would also remind that it is exactly this heated rhetoric on both sides that makes any sort of dispassionate and reasoned dialog on this issue impossible. This is one reason why I have written time and again that the current generation of parties to this dispute may very well not live to see this issue resolved. Lisa’s suggestion on the Archbishop engaging “ . . . the Anglican Communion primates and bishops on "perspectives on tradition and modernity." could very well be a step in the right direction. So, let us reset from blowtorch to at least a low simmer and see where a discussion on perspectives on tradition and modernity takes us.

7/27/2012 8:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Jack Lampasas, I'm not sure what has moved you to post on this year-old news story. Now, as we are all aware, Abp Rowan Williams has announced his impending resignation. He has done all the damage he can do within the Anglican Communion and among other faith communities.

Perhaps -- like some former Presidents or Prime Ministers -- he will become a statesman after his resignation. But he certainly blew it during his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury. What a sad, sad waste of a gifted mind and soul. I grieve.

7/27/2012 9:11 PM  

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