Andrew Brown: Stand up for yourself, Rowan

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once before, at the beginning of his term as Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams made a decision that exposed him to bullying, when he approved the appointment of Dr Jeffrey John, a celibate gay, as suffragan bishop of Reading. After six weeks of increasing pressure, he cracked and withdrew his approval. The shadow of that failure has lain over everything he has done since. Perhaps he should not have picked the fight at all, but to have started it and then surrendered was the worst of all possible outcomes. Dr Williams caved in over Jeffrey John in July 2003, nearly four years ago; we will find out soon enough if he has learned anything from the experience. If he has not, and if he caves in once more, no one will ever listen to him again. Why should we care what he believes about anything if we know he won't stand up for it?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury Lambeth 2008* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

17 Comments
Posted May 30, 2007 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Dan Crawford wrote:

Apparently, Jeffrey was not such a celibate gay after all, as subsequent events suggest.

May 30, 6:10 pm | [comment link]
2. badman wrote:

What subsequent events might those be?

May 30, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
3. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse wrote:

It would seem that Dr. Williams is intent on firmly holding his position atop a rickety, swaying fence.  A gesture this way, a motion the other way, and all to maintain some semblance of balance in his precarious position.

May 30, 7:20 pm | [comment link]
4. Fred wrote:

I never thought I’d agree with Peter Akinola about anything but if Andrew Brown is right and Akinola believes that Williams is ” a pathetic post-colonial relic,” I would wholeheartedly agree.

May 30, 7:46 pm | [comment link]
5. bob carlton wrote:

the abc clearly believes there is a sensible center from which our faith is animated.  from my place in the pew, I think he is right - but so many bishops & priests see this in the frame of fox tv & michael moore

May 30, 8:35 pm | [comment link]
6. azusa wrote:

What Robinson has never clarified is how his marriage broke down. One understands that his homosexual feelings became strong, but what was the catalyst in this? He met his permanent ‘partner’ after his divorce, but what actually caused the divorce itself?
This has never been made clear.

May 31, 3:27 am | [comment link]
7. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

Poor Rowan, you have to feel for him. He gets handed an impossible task - is a genuinly holy man but will be remembered for the breakdown of the Church as we know it.
I cannot help but feel that had he arrived in office 20yrs previously he would have been loved and upheld as an equal to Ramsey in the eyes of many.

Right man wrong time I tihnk. Given the turmoil one wonders if +Chartres might have cut a more imposing figure.

May 31, 3:38 am | [comment link]
8. azusa wrote:

#7: I like the guy too (not his confused theology), but he shoulda stayed with his books. He’s prevaricated, waffled, temporized, while Tec and Canada have gone their own sweet way. A simple declaration ‘Consecrate Robinson and you’re not coming to Lambeth’ would have nipped that in the bud. Instead we’ve had the ghastly soap opera of TWR, Dromantine, DeS, the useless appeals board etc etc - a vast expenditure of time and money.

May 31, 4:16 am | [comment link]
9. CharlesB wrote:

I am glad ABC will change his mind and do the right thing.  Here are some interesting quotes:
‘True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.’
— Akhenaton

‘A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.’
— Alexander Pope

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.’
— Bertrand Russell

‘Modest doubt is call’d the beacon of the wise.’
— William Shakespeare

May 31, 5:13 am | [comment link]
10. john scholasticus wrote:

Alternatively, ‘a simple declaration’ of ‘it is complete nonesense to regard this as a communion-dividing issue’ might have called the bullies’ bluff. Too late for that now, alas.

May 31, 6:55 am | [comment link]
11. azusa wrote:

# 10: ‘bullies’? You know who the ‘bullies’ are, John? (Or what ‘bullies’ are?) Have you any idea of the devastation across Ecusa, from Accokeek to LA?
Do you know who Jane Dixon, Andrew Smith and Charles Bennison are? Joe Doss? Do you know *anything of the people driven from their churches, jobs and homes? The thousands who have voted with their feet? Why AMiA and CANA have taken root?
Who do you think signed statements then ignored them - or engaged in the most preposterous verbal gymnastics to evade the plain menaing of words? Rampant abuse and dishonesty, unworthy of the name of Christ.

May 31, 7:14 am | [comment link]
12. Lapinbizarre wrote:

Unsubstantiated mudslinging time, Mr. Crawford (#1)?  What “subsequent events”?

May 31, 9:15 am | [comment link]
13. john scholasticus wrote:

#11
Funnily enough, ‘G’, I am against all bullies and after reading lots of stuff here I do accept that the TEC establishment has done lots of it. I have heard of many of the people (and incidents) you mention. But there are certainly lots of bullies on your side too (Akinola, Orombi, Wycliffe principal, Sugden ...). But you and I couldn’t even in practice agree that ‘bullying’ is a bad thing, because what I would call ‘bullying’ from your side you would call just and necessary restitution of true Christianity. This (not anything else) is the failure that is blowing Anglicanism apart.

May 31, 9:25 am | [comment link]
14. The_Elves wrote:

Let’s get back to the substance of the post, please.

May 31, 9:28 am | [comment link]
15. Deja Vu wrote:

I don’t think it is “bullying” to set limits on what you can accept and still remain in a relationship. Calling that “bullying” is probably projection.
There is a kind of bullying that is “passive-aggressive” and is often called “mean girl” behavior. It is particularly prevalent in middle school among girls. It’s form of intimidation is emotional violence rather than physical violence. It is seen in the prevarications, secret deals and alliances, and pretense to loving behavior that is actually used to undermine the other.

May 31, 12:12 pm | [comment link]
16. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Brown seems to have missed the calls for the HOB of ECUSA/TEC to stay away from the Lambeth on the grounds of principle that are equally bullying as his allegations about ++Akinola.  Might there be a reason for this huge oversight?  Hmmmm$$$$$$?

May 31, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
17. Lapinbizarre wrote:

Still waiting, Mr. Crawford (#1, #12)

June 5, 11:15 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): Diana Butler Bass: Different Bible Translations Guided My Way

Previous entry (below): A BBC Radio Four Sunday Programme Audio Segment on Wycliffe Hall dispute

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)