Andrew Brown's column of press criticism in this week's Church Times is provocative as always. He and John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter have caught Ruth Gledhill out on the story she rushed into the Times of London on the supposed rapprochement between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Allen calls the story “false — not oversold or exaggerated, but false.”
Of at least equal interest is his takedown of the Archbiship of Canterbury's recent article in the Telegraph. He sees our situation very clearly.
“One of the hardest things in all this has been to keep insisting on the absolute moral imperative of combating bigotry and violence against gay people, and the need to secure appropriate civic and legal protection for couples who have chosen to share their lives.”
"Who is he trying to fool with this? Is he really describing the policy of the Nigerian Church? Or the Rwandan? There is a great deal that is subtle and illuminating in his article, but none of that portion describes the way that things are actually done, or discussed among the Primates, if we are to judge from the reports of others present at these meetings.
"In a similar way, his article says that: 'The suggestion of a structure in America to care for the minority tries to remove any need for external intervention.' This could only appear true if you knew nothing of the politics surrounding it.
"But there is this uneasy nagging fear that, like a journalist, Dr Williams believes this stuff while he is writing it. I can’t honestly see what other motive he might have for saying it. Obviously, he knows as well as anyone else that Dr Jefferts Schori cannot satisfy her enemies within and outside the United States, and that every test she passes will be replaced by one that is harder."
Brown makes an excellent point. Either the Archbishop of Canterbury is terminally naive, or he believes that we are. Neither prospect is encouraging.