FaithWorld

Archbishop Rowan Williams, a man who faced an impossible task

March 16, 2012

(Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (R) and his wife Jane wave to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip after a Diamond Jubilee multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace in central London February 15, 2012. )

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, well-liked within the Anglican Communion but often an irritant to the British government, has struggled with the two issues that have dominated the religious agenda: gay bishops and same-sex unions.

After announcing his resignation from a turbulent church, he will probably return to the gentler world of academia a worn man after a decade of wrestling with the near-impossible task of reconciling traditionalists and liberals within the 80-million strong Anglican Communion.

Seen as a bookish theologian, Williams tried to define Anglican positions more clearly and strengthen his central role.

Unlike Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism is a loose grouping of churches whose head has no direct power over all members.

Considered a liberal when he became archbishop in 2002, he constantly sacrificed his private beliefs to maintain the unity of the Church.

But the poet and linguist increasingly struck a forlorn figure, suffering a series of blows to his personal authority by the unyielding factions.

Read the full story here.
.
Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/