In the blogosphere's dissection of recent remarks made by Rowan Williams that gay bishops are okay as long as they're celibate, Church Mouse thinks the Archbishop of Canterbury made a classic media-relations gaffe.
Rowan made a school boy interview error, in failing to understand the reason why he was being asked a question and failing to realise what would happen if he answered it.
The interview was actually rather long and wide ranging, but Rowan must be aware that if anything passes his lips on the subject of homosexuality, particularly homosexuality amongst clergy, then everything else he says will become irrelevant. It was naive of him to think that the interviewer actually wanted to understand the church's line on gay clergy, as this is widely known and easily accessed. Actually, they just wanted Williams to say something on the topic, anything on the topic, which can then be used to generate a headline.
And so we have "Williams backs gay clergy as long as they're celibate".
We'd take it a bit further than just being about sex, or even clergy, strictly speaking. In terms of meriting copy space, the headlines actually seem to be several. For one thing, he crossed himself - that is, said something apparently at odds with prior behavior, at least as "The Body's Grace" attests.
...anyone who knows the complexities of the true celibate vocation would be the last to have any sympathy with the extraordinary idea that sexual orientation is an automatic pointer to the celibate life...
The other thing was in his saying in the interview that
the issue of homosexuality has become "a wound in the whole ministry" since his appointment as archbishop in 2002.