Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Worldwide Head of Anglican Church, Resigns

The symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has announced he is stepping down, the Guardian reports:

WilliamsWilliams, 61, will leave his church post at the end of December in time to start his new role next January. His time in office has been marked by a slowly growing schism in the worldwide Anglican church which he has failed to heal. Throughout his time in office he has been attacked by conservatives for his liberal views on homosexuality and by liberals for failing to live up to these principles.

The bookies' favourite to succeed him is the archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Said Williams: "I would like the successor that God would like. I think that it is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros, really. But he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a church which, for all its problems, is still for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration. I think the Church of England is a great treasure. I wish my successor well in the stewardship of it."

SentamuSentamu opposes same-sex marriage. He said, recently:

"We supported civil partnerships because we believe that friendships are good for everybody. If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift. But if you begin to call those marriage, you're trying to change the English language. That does not mean you diminish, condemn, criticise, patronise any same-sex relationships because that is not what the debate is about."

Rowan Williams resigns as archbishop of Canterbury [guardian]


  1. Steerpike says

    ‘…f you begin to call those marriage, you’re trying to change the English language.’

    Perhaps we are, and what’s wrong with that: only the dumbest people think that language and meaning stay static. Pure idiocy. And it will change, just as we changed the language that supported the idea than men like John Setamu shoulc be bought and siold like animals, or that woman should be sold to their husbands like chattels. Change is good. Change language and you change the world.

  2. revchicoucc says

    Sentamu is originally from Uganda. He was a lawyer and judge in Uganda before studying theology at Cambridge and becoming an Anglican priest (from his Wikipedia entry)

    I have encountered the use of the term “friendship” among personal friends from east and southern Africa to describe same-sex relationships. One such person insisted two men cannot be more than “friends” even if they are committed to and having sex with each other. Without the possibility of procreation, such relationships could never be more than “friendship.”

  3. Jason says

    Say what you will about both of them, but neither of them are homophobes. Rowan Williams even tried to appoint an openly gay priest as a bishop and the ensuing controversy scared him. He has been in a tough position as ABC and, while he has not acted in the way I would want him to, he certainly isn’t a homophobe. Ditto for Sentamu, a man I know personally.

  4. Salythetruth says

    I would suspicious of a person whose country hates so much the LGTB that would go as far as to legally kill them. But I guess the U.K. Anglican religious folks haven’t anything better to offer.

  5. Paul says

    Randy, the Queen is the supreme govenor of the Church of England, the Head of the Church is Jesus!

    Jason, how well do you actually know ++ York?, not as well as some I imagine.

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