From THE TELEGRAPH:
Dr Rowan Williams has refused to be drawn on the issue publicly, but has broken his silence to tell MPs he is not prepared for the Coalition to tell the Church how to behave. He told a private meeting of influential politicians that the Church of England would not bow to public pressure to allow its buildings to be used to conduct same-sex civil partnerships.
COMMENT: Rowan Williams is an academic. He writes books. I have never met an academic or an author who does not want to be remembered, to be referred to in books yet to be written.
But, perhaps, Williams is the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps he does not want to be remembered.
It doesn't matter. Because he is going to be remembered and is going to be in a lot of the future's history books.
My two favourite history books are "The Victorian Church" (vols. 1 and 2) by Owen Chadwick and "A History of English Christianity 1920 - 1990" by Adrian Hastings. Both these works are full of heroes, villains, those who were right and those who got it incredibly wrong. Williams will already know that he will go down in history as one of the latter. He knows that one day, relatively soon, same sex couples will be getting married in church in the same way that women have the vote and you can't discriminate against black people at work. He knows that a future archbishop of Canterbury will publicly apologise for the pain he, and his precious Church, caused LGBT people over so many years just as he has apologised for the slave trade and the pope has apologised to the scientists his church persecuted over the centuries. He knows all this, so his sacrifice of his own reputation is deliberate.
Maybe he thinks his is a Christlike sacrifice.
But Jesus made his sacrifice so that others might live. Williams' sacrifice, albeit not his intention, is the opposite. Jesus became one with those who suffer. Williams has declared himself to be one with those who persecute. Jesus sought unity through love. Williams seeks unity through law.
There is nothing Christlike in expediency. There is no worth in sacrificing oneself for a mere concept. In fact, such a sacrifice becomes abhorrent when it requires the sacrifice of human beings.
We will remember him.