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Rowan Williams hated being Archbishop of Canterbury

Rowan Williams hated being Archbishop of Canterbury

Ruth Gledhill reports on a new book about the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams:

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has admitted he has “no problem” with legal parity for same-sex couples. But he feels the State rushed into “redefining” marriage without giving the Church enough time to think about it. The revelations come in the latest edition of his biography, Rowan’s Rule, by Rupert Shortt, which is published next month.JS23754549JPG.jpg

On the battles in the worldwide Anglican Communion over sexuality, Shortt writes: “The associated emotional toll he suffered is not easily overstated. Eight years previously [in 2005] he had slumped against a doorway during a bishops’ meeting and said to a colleague, ‘I can’t tell you how much I hate this job.’

“At around the same time, a leading churchman found himself in a taxi with Jane Williams on their way to a speaking engagement. ‘Can I check that Rowan knows he’s the only person who can be Archbishop of Canterbury right now?’ he asked. ‘I know,’ Jane replied. ‘But that doesn’t make it any easier.'”

Read more at Christian Today and Wales Online

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“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” [Henry IV, Part 2, Act 3]

…or, I’m sure, the miter.

But (monarchism questions aside) no one is really born (God does not impose) wearing a crown or miter. It’s a choice.

And no one, at any time, is really irreplaceable (in a particular office). It’s a choice.

To choose to resign, when placed in a situation of unconscionable consequences, is no disgrace. “Uneasy heads” should try it more often.

JC Fisher

Elizabeth Kaeton

Rowan, by his own admission, hated his job. His statement simply authenticates and validates that which was already painfully obvious.

While in office, he even violated his own sense of proper British etiquette (The British practically invented the etiquette, much less the rules) by not inviting Gene Robinson, a validly elected bishop in the Episcopal Church, to Lambeth 2008. He thereby not only violated the rules of etiquette but also simultaneously rendered the hospitality that is central to Christianity fraudulent – and, on the world stage – in front of God and everyone else.

If we needed any evidence other than that incident that the man hated his job, well, we’d be hard pressed to find it.

And I don’t think you have to be a bishop or archbishop to figure out that one. It’s as plain as the Iberian nose in the middle of my face.

Ann Fontaine

Yes I am very familiar with “call” but if you hate the job – that is not what God has in mind IMO. As Frederick Buechner says: “Where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,”- that’s vocation. The fact that the ABC hated being ABC spills out on all of us. Where is the love and joy of Jesus? Sorry if he did not love the majority of what he was doing – he should have not taken the job. Of course there were hard parts and people projected their stuff on him – but there are lots of ways to not take that into oneself. We don’t really need martyrs as ABC – especially not ones who said nothing when LGBT people were being beaten and killed because of the church.

Catherine S. Salmon

That should have been “They cast their nets in Galilee” (not Galilde). The dangers of my phone’s auto-“correct”, combined with insufficient review by me, on display…

Catherine S. Salmon

Sorry that last one posted twice.

Ann Fontaine, why do you characterize constant traveling as something one “gets” to do? Most people I know would find the ABC’s travel schedule utterly exhausting. Also, judging by your comment, I suspect you are familiar with the concept of a call. If someone feels that God has called him to do a certain job, would you have him refuse on the basis that it won’t be easy? The final verse of “They cast their nets in Galilde” comes to mind: “The peace of God, it is no peace, but strife closed in the sod. Yet let us pray for but one thing, the marvelous peace of God.” God does not only call us to do work that is nothing but sunshine and butterflies and rainbows and puppies; sometimes, we are called to do work that is difficult for us, that wears us down, that prods at our weak points, that exhausts us.

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