Jane Kramer of The New Yorker offers her take on why Rowan Williams stepped down as the Archbishop of Canterbury:
Those priests, many of whom he had taught, talked instead about the urgency of the social gospel, and about “the old Rowan Williams,” the professor who believed that “history matters” and that time matters. They said it was Williams who had changed, that he was “bending over backwards” to save a bad marriage, as one of the women priests I met then put it, adding, “It would mean so much for the Church if he were to say, just once, ‘I want to be the one who welcomes women to the House of Bishops.’ ” It seemed to the women, and to the gay priests waiting in line behind them—and indeed to most of the country’s liberal clergy—that their archbishop wasn’t bending over enough to save the marriage he had made with them. The choices he had were simple: he could lead the Church of England, which was eager for his attention; or he could continue to reach out to the churches that ignored him; or he could resign. He was tired, and, being a good man and a Christian in evident anguish, he resigned. I think that he missed the old Rowan Williams, too.