This is the first line of Rowan Williams' article on his hopes for our new government, published in THE TELEGRAPH today:

"Good government from a Christian point of view is about 
the acknowledgement and reinforcement of human dignity."

I don't think I've ever called for the resignation of our present Archbishop Of Canterbury. I look forward to the day that he moves onto a job to which he is more suited, but actually sacking a bishop is un-English and a precedent we should be extremely wary of creating. However, it does seem to me that Williams has, by his actions in the international communion, placed himself in a position where he can no longer speak the gospel into the mundane situations of the country he is supposed, by law, to have pastoral care for. When I read the above sentence I immediately thought, "You hypocrite!" I will not be the only person to jump so rapidly to his condemnation. If it's a really quiet week, news-wise and this statement gets mentioned on "Have I Got New For You," I would bet my last penny that Ian Hislop (editor of "Private Eye" and an Anglican) will make a satirical remark about the lack of dignity his church imposes on its gay members.

So, Williams' office has become an instrument of archaic law and nothing more. He no longer has the confidence of the modern, openminded, charitable citizens of England to be wise and caring in his pronouncements, and it is these people, not the haters, who make up the vast majority of our government, media and academic institutions.

So, as I believe it is unchristian to sack any servant of the Church who has broken no cannon of the Church, I will not call for Canterbury's resignation (not that it would make a scrap of difference if I did), but I will join my small voice to many other voices beseeching him to behave like a true shepherd of his flock and stop propelling what's left of our national church into irrelevant obscurity.


HA! — 47 Comments

  1. No I do not think he should resign. In fact given how much of the current mess he has created, he should not be allowed to dump it on a successor.

    The communion is coming apart in large measure because of his unwillingness to offend the homophobes. It won’t work, he is going to fail and he should be there to reap the results of his poorly done term.


  2. Oh my that is wicked. It says so many things in two resolves. Yes it is a decision not to act now but it also drops the next act right in the ABC’s lap. If he can make the covenant govern England, then and only then will Canada “consider” it.


  3. My prayer is that Rowan will go to Rome, where he can grovel and fawn and bow and scrape before the pope, as he so loves to do.

  4. I am relieved that you’ve not called for the resignation of the ABC as I would have then been forced to “write” another post over at Chin Wag.

  5. This is just a small point. I had no idea that Ian Hislop was an Anglican. I am delighted to hear it.

    The most annoying thing about Rowan Williams for me is that really, if he hadn’t let himself be pressganged by the homophobes, it could have all gone right. But, all things being as they are, I do agree he is just not really suited to the job, not given what the Church needs at the present time.

  6. “Give little Laud to the devil.” Which is to imply that the nearest precedent was a bit more extreme. The enemy of our souls has tempted me to ponder it of late. Pray for me.

  7. Well, I’m in trouble at the moment for admitting I had dreams of assassinating Margaret Thatcher. So we can burn together, Paul.

  8. Maybe we should email the head of the CoE and warn her that the current ABC is destroying her church and the AC and perhaps she might do something about him?

  9. Well, I’m in trouble at the moment for admitting I had dreams of assassinating Margaret Thatcher.

    No yer not!!

  10. It is with enormous embarrassment, as I’m a staunch royalist, that I have to point out that all the indications are that the Queen is slightly right wing of the Malawi judiciary in her attitude towards same sex marriage, and that she has been nagging Williams to not let “her” church go in the same in the same direction as those uncouth Americans. Strange, as most of her servants are gay.

    Of course, this is what happens when you get rid of the rightful king and replace him with a Protestant German. I’m sure Bonnie Prince Charlie’s descendants would have been very pro-gay. I mean, his great grandfather certainly didn’t mind a bit of campness around the court – positively encouraged it, in fact.

  11. Mad Priest – exactly. That’s why you’re not in trouble.

    Interestingly, I think that the last English king per se (if you refuse to count anyone Scots, Welsh or from any other nation) was Richard III. As to the last rightful king, if by that you mean ruler of the whole nation, there is a good case to be mounted that there hasn’t been one, ever. On a number of fronts. They’re all bloody dodgy, the lot of them.

  12. Previous changes of dynasty were achieved in the correct and traditional manner of killing the sitting monarch, preferably, but not necessarily, in battle. The so called glorious revolution was just dirty politics, which, as you know, is the province of commoners. But, most important, the Stuarts looked like proper kings and shagged like horses. The German lot were prissy and looked like horses – still do, in fact.

  13. Personally I think the Stuarts were a whole lot more boring than that. In fact the last Stuart, Queen Anne, was widely acknowledged to be the most boring monarch England has ever had. Agreed on the Germans though. Then again, England has been ruled by Germans for flippin’ centuries. The Anglo-Saxons were Germans. The Normans were Germans, even though they spread down through France.

    It’s all dirty politics, in my opinion. And they were all commoners.

  14. No. The Normans were Vikings. And the Germans are descended from the boring wimps that the Anglo Saxons left behind when they set sail to England. the English are descended from bloodthristy Anglo Saxons, bloodthirsty Vikings and the Celts that didn’t run away to hide in Wales. And we want our bloodthirsty Scottish king back, please.

  15. To be technical the Normans were part Viking, part Frank (Germans) and part Gallo-Romans (yes, I have just looked them up on Wikipedia). They were all bloodthirsty – I can’t think of any ancients, goers or stayers, who weren’t.

    It is interesting though that you associate “bloodthirsty” with “royal”, and both with “exciting”. I associate “royal” with “distinctly dull”.

    But then I really am Protestant. Sigh.

    wv – voltin – the peasants are voltin.

    (Mind you, Bonnie Prince Charlie had a certain je ne sais quoi.)

  16. The current Archbishop of Canterbury needs to be asked the classic question first asked 56 years ago today (it is still the ninth here as I write): “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

    If he had, he’d have resigned on his own by now.

  17. His Imperial Majesty The Son of Heaven in Beijing addressed Queen Victoria in his letters as “My loyal servant Victoria…” I’m sure she was not amused.

  18. Go ahead call for his resignation, nice easy way out for him to resign by public demand. I’ve written him a nice letter instead. I’ve written to that nice new shiny prime minister too, do you think Madge will feel left out?

  19. Thanks for the tip off, Doug. We’ll send HRH and family straight over. Don’t bother to return them. I’m off now to track down the true king of England. Perhaps it will turn out to be me. I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion there was a mix up at the hospital. I’m so much more refined than the rest of my family.

  20. Mad Priest, it would be so much fun if you turned out to be the true king that if you discover there are only a handful of people between you and the throne I think you ought to bump them off, Kind-Hearts-and-Coronets style. However, you do realise that Tony Robinson has gone through this exercise already and established that the true king is an Aussie bloke called Mike who, needless to say, is “a staunch republican”:


    Mike on what he would do with the job: “I’d put a keg on for the palace garden parties and some party pies instead of cucumber sandwiches for a start”

    His late wife was called Noeleen, shame she died, I like the thought of Queen Noeleen.

    I like the pic of him on the throne too.

  21. (PS if you do become king, Mad Priest, can I pick up on the old role of my Scottish ancestors the Douglases and parade around Scotland on a horse denouncing you and being an official public nuisance?)

  22. oh the Grahams are a bunch of girlies’ blouses, everyone knows that. I could take the lot of them no problem.

  23. That’s a bluff, Cathy. You haven’t done your research. The Grahams were border reivers and the clans in the disputed lands were all psychos.

  24. Ha. You’d probably turn up in a home made suit of armour with a galvanised bucket on your head.

    LOL!! 🙂 And with me hockey stick, the one with the ancient bloodstains and bits of ankle bone and hair stuck to it.

    Well it tells you what girlies they are that that would terrify them into fleeing.

    I would be played in the film by Mick Jagger I suppose.

  25. The truth is, the Pope-aspiring ABC has won his recently “who can be most absurdly un-Christian” contest with the Roman Pope. It’s really rather impressive in a way. How do you do that starting so far behind, i.e., not having youth Nazi training and all? Then there was the whole excommunication of nuns who OK life-saving abortions, but not incestuous, child abusing, Brazillian fathers. That Roman guy put up a tough fight!

    With the title come the spoils, namely that the English Church is now truly irrelevant on at least this side of the pond. Sad since, in my experience, The C of E has enjoyed much more respect in America than Britannia for several decades before this latest string of nonsense from Canterbury. Since most Americans don’t bother to discern between the Church and the Grand Tufti, both are now seen as either an object of amusement or scorn.

    It is truly heartbreaking. You do have at least one American praying for the people of the C of E, hope that helps some.

  26. Dah-veed!! That’s really sweet. Tho Micky was quite young and fresh-faced at the time. I mentioned him because Mad Priest suggested I would turn up to the fight dressed like Ned Kelly with a bucket over my head. Mick Jagger played Ned Kelly in a film, years and years ago.

    I’m taking Dah-veed’s remark as a compliment.

  27. It’s up to you. But those Mexicans are a devious people. I’ve seen loads of John Wayne films so I know all about them.