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Will Sentamu succeed Williams?

Will Sentamu succeed Williams?

There’s a great deal of chatter in the past few days about the possibility of the John Sentamu, the present Archbishop of York, succeeding Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are opinion pieces in the English press claiming that if he doesn’t, it’s because of racism. And there are articles talking about leaked concerns regarding his management style.

Paul Vallely for instance writes:

“…The big question is whether his style is suited to coping with the polarised camps in the Church. ‘He’s established a court at Bishopthorpe,’ said one senior insider. ‘He’s trebled the staff, which has caused unease among senior churchmen at the amount of money he’s spending. But he lacks the diplomatic skills to be Archbishop of Canterbury. He’s autocratic and doesn’t like to be contradicted. He has a temper. His senior staff of bishops and archdeacons in the Diocese of York haven’t found him an easy man to work with, or for. He’d be a disaster managing Anglicanism’s factions.’

All that has not been lost on the powers at Lambeth Palace, which is run more like a chief exec’s office in a major corporation. There the Archbishop of Canterbury has so much in his diary set by the formularies of diocese, nation and international Anglican Communion that the incumbent has nowhere near the scope to follow his own agenda as York does. Lambeth officials have been leaking their fear of a Dr Sentamu succession.”

Thinking Anglicans has collected a number of the best articles on Sentamu’s possible preferment.

And of course you can always follow what the bookies are saying


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John B. Chilton

I’m of two minds. One of my minds says, be happy if Sentamu becomes ABC. It will be a welcome milestone, and no one can assert he was denied by a whispering campaign. He’s close to retirement and he’s had health issues — he won’t be around long enough to have an effect one way or the other. If he does manage to turn back the clock on equal rights or take action beyond what’s allowed the blowback will be cathartic for the Communion. Even if that catharsis means a final clean breakup of the communion.

Nicole Porter

The best ABC candidate in my opinion is one who won’t bow to any particular ideological sect in the Communion under pressure. I would have more respect for someone who would be on one side of the fence and actually stay on it rather than try to appease everyone, because no one can do it. Also, I’m sick of these phony ecumenical talks with Rome. The next ABC needs to be firm and not take things like the ordinate like a dog with its tail between its legs.

Jeffrey L. Shy, M.D.

As a further aside, I believe that the C of E has an age of 70 mandatory retirement. Sentamu would barely make the next Lambeth conference and would have to retire immediately after. Again, probably not what would best serve the communion.

Jeffrey L. Shy, M.D.

Please God, I don’t ask for much, but “no” and “pretty please, no” and “pretty please with sugar on top.”

I am hopeful that it will be thought that Sentamu will be felt to be rather too old. He is already a year older than Rowan who is retiring. By the time of the next Lambeth conference, he will be 69-70. I would love to see a person of color or even better a female person of color at the head of the C of E and in the seat of Canterbury, but I think that Sentamu would be no step forward and probably a step backwards. We need a healer/reformer, not another autocrat.

Peter Pearson

I vote for Desmond Tutu.

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