On the Guardian, Steven Bates has a good encapsulation of where things stand in the Church of England: liturgical opportunity at Christmas ... waning good will ... and a cup of cold tea for Rowan Williams.
Tom Butler, the bishop of Southwark, who retires in March, said: "Rowan is an enigma. I don't think he is a pushover. He is patient and stubborn and he frequently says with God the impossible is always possible. The Ugandan situation is extremely sensitive. Archbishop Sentamu's advice is taken extremely seriously."
Ask him whether he condemns the legislation and he spars uncomfortably before finally admitting: "It's obviously a wicked law, which I could not possibly support, but whether I would help the situation by denouncing it publicly, I don't know."
And what of women? They now provide between a quarter and a third of the church's clergy, though many give their services unpaid, but, 15 years after they were first ordained, they still can't become bishops, because a handful of male clergy insist they could not accept their authority or abide their episcopal touch.
For all the article's virtues, one is especially noteworthy: setting the situation in Uganda (proposed draconian legislation spelling out terrible terms for gays) over and against the situation in the Diocese of Los Angeles (the election of a woman living in a committed lesbian relationship to the position of bishop suffragan), Bates quotes the Guardian's Andrew Brown's blog entry of December 6th, "Rowan Williams' choice."
Consider the case of two Anglicans of the same gender who love one another. If they are in the USA, the Anglican church will marry them and may elect one of them to office. If they are in Uganda, the Anglican church will have [to] try to have them jailed for life, and ensure that any priest who did not report them to the authorities within 24 hours would be jailed for three years; anyone who spoke out in their defence might be jailed for seven.
Under Williams, the church that marries two women who love each other is to be thrown out of the Anglican communion. The church that would jail them both for life and revile and persecute their defenders stays snugly in its bosom. Not even the archbishop's gift for obfuscation can conceal these facts forever.
Succinct and sorrowing.