Updated (9:48 a. m.) with a statement from the Anglican Communion Office that calls the “Anglican presidency” element of the story into question:
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has responded to an article in today’s The Telegraph newspaper that inaccurately stated: “The Anglican Church is drawing up plans… that would see the introduction of a ‘presidential’ figure to take over some of the global role of the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
“The opening paragraph of this article is mischievous,” said Canon Kenneth Kearon. “There are no such plans. The Archbishop of Canterbury simply said in the interview that he could see that in the future there might be some reflection on how the administrative load associated with the Anglican Communion might be better shared.
“The Anglican Communion has several decision-making bodies, one of which [the Anglican Consultative Council] is meeting in a few months’ time. Nothing like what this newspaper has suggested is on the agenda.”
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams thinks the job of ABC has become too big for one man (sic):
The outgoing leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans suggested a form of job share after admitting that he had failed to do enough to prevent a split over homosexuality.
Dr Williams said a new role should be created to oversee the day to day running of the global Anglican communion, leaving future Archbishops of Canterbury free to focus on spiritual leadership and leading the Church of England.
In his last major interview before he steps down later his year, he acknowledged that he had struggled to balance the growing demands of the job at home and abroad and admitted he had “disappointed” both liberals and conservatives.
He also said that the Church had been “wrong” in its treatment of homosexuals in the past but reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Entire interview is here.
The idea of relieving the Archbishop of Canterbury of certain responsibilities in order to allow him to do his job more prompted the 2001 Hurd Report. (Summary and Major recommendations.) The relevant recommendation reads:
Steps should be taken to establish a post at episcopal level at Lambeth funded by the Anglican Communion to act as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s right hand in Anglican Communion affairs, with a view to its holder deputising wherever practicable for the Archbishop in the Anglican Communion, and helping to coordinate support with the Anglican Communion Office. The post holder should come from the Anglican Communion overseas, and be selected by the Archbishop in consultation with the Anglican Consultative Council and Primates.
What are your thoughts?