March 26, 2017

March 16, 2012

BREAKING: +++Canterbury to Resign at End of Year (Updated with more links)

The website of the Archbishop of Canterbury have announced that Rowan Williams will resign at the end of the year to take up the position of master of Magdalene College, Cambridge in 2013.

I can’t pretend I’m upset by the news but we ought to pray hard for a suitable replacement. Time to see what the bookies say, methinks. Odds on Chartres, Bishop of London? Now that would put a whole new spin on things.

Here’s a statement from the Archbishop of York

From the Archbishop of Westminster (Roman Catholic)

From the BBC

From the Telegraph

From The Independent (suggesting ++York as the most probable replacement)

From the Guardian

From Reuters

From The Weekly Standard

From the Daily Mail

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Over at T19, Kendall has a number of items up.  According to the Telegraph, the current odds-on favorite is John Sentamu (York).

[1] Posted by DeeBee on 3-16-2012 at 06:52 AM · [top]

Now, if +KJS would resign…....... think of the possibilities.

[2] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 3-16-2012 at 07:02 AM · [top]

#2, this is a job that KJS would covet.

I join with others in praying that his replacement will be a faithful Christian with the gift of leadership.

[3] Posted by Ralph on 3-16-2012 at 07:12 AM · [top]

Just to clarify, it is Magdalene College Oxford, not Cambridge

[4] Posted by mr_gimlet on 3-16-2012 at 07:14 AM · [top]

Maybe they’ll get an archbishop who defends the faith rather than buckling to money, Islam, and a degenerating culture.

[5] Posted by Bill2 on 3-16-2012 at 07:14 AM · [top]

The announcement makes it clear that the appointment is to Magdalene College, Cambridge. There are two Colleges by that name, one each in Cambridge and Oxford - both historic and with strong alumni pedigrees past and present.

[6] Posted by Tim Harris on 3-16-2012 at 07:28 AM · [top]

[7] Posted by Ian Montgomery on 3-16-2012 at 07:31 AM · [top]

#3- With the Standing Committee appointing a member of the nominating committee, like as not KJS will be one of the people selecting the next one (given that she controls the standing committee)- she may well nominate herself to the Crown nominating committee.  The Crown nominating committee will have a minimum of 7 open revisionists by definition, and likely no more than 4 out of 16 total will be orthodox (assuming the Canterbury diocese and synod elect a couple conservative lay people each)and quite possibly zero.  It will include Sentamu (unless he is a candidate, in which case the HoB gets to send another revisionist) and a couple other moderates.  But we can assume the PM’s delegate will be pro-gay-marriage, as will the Standing Committee rep, the 3 clergy reps from Synod, and the HoB’s selection(s).  The Canterbury diocese is split, but again, revisionist clergy control their clergy delegation by a wide margin, and the usual practice seems to be to divide up the lay delegates among various theo/political stances.
All told, I think it comes down to a race between Holtam and Jeffrey John.

[8] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-16-2012 at 07:35 AM · [top]

Well, I guess this answers the question of “What will the AoC do after his Covenant dies a miserable and unlamented death?”  He will slink off to Academia and leave behind a Communion in ruins.  He has destroyed all four instruments and made the CoE into a satellite of TEC.  He rubbed his fevered brow with his fevered hands while everything burned around him.  History will not be kind to the Archbishop who did so little and yet wrought so much devastation.


[9] Posted by carl on 3-16-2012 at 07:46 AM · [top]

I guess former bishop N.T. Wright has no chance, eh?

[10] Posted by All-Is-True on 3-16-2012 at 07:46 AM · [top]

Is it Magdalene in Oxford or Cambridge? None of the links work!

[11] Posted by All-Is-True on 3-16-2012 at 07:57 AM · [top]

Dr Williams’ intentions have been conveyed to The Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and who formally appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Exactly.  I’ve heard some strong orthodox statements from the Queen lately. One can only hope she exerts some real power in the appointment. Unless it’s some watered-down power where the replacement is put before her and she signs her name to it. Can someone enlighten us as to how the process works?

[12] Posted by flaanglican on 3-16-2012 at 07:58 AM · [top]

It’s Cambridge: ABC website

While he rides into obsecurity, prayers for a man who will uphold the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

[13] Posted by Fisherman on 3-16-2012 at 08:10 AM · [top]

The old link is down.  Navigate to the “Home” page of ++Canterbury’s web site, and you’ll see the story.

[14] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 3-16-2012 at 08:11 AM · [top]

Fisherman beat me to it.  His link works.

[15] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 3-16-2012 at 08:12 AM · [top]

Carl, I can only say “Amen” to your summation of the current ABC’s accomplishments in office (#9).  I trust he’ll get an adequate parachute from TEc for his role.  Do you think it mere coincidence that VGR’s retiring now too?  Inquiring minds or even suspicious minds would want to know.

[16] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 3-16-2012 at 08:13 AM · [top]

Would love to know what the Pope said!  wink

The best summary I’ve seen:

This man has done more damage to the Church of England and to Anglicanism world wide than any other in a thousand years. Hopefully a real Christian will replace him.

Will be praying hard for the replacement.

[17] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-16-2012 at 08:28 AM · [top]

#2 She might want the job but she can’t have it…

“Since the Archbishop of Canterbury is automatically a member of the House of Lords he must, under the law of the land be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen.” (from Kendall’s link to the rules of the game)

[18] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-16-2012 at 08:34 AM · [top]

Wow . . . read this . . . thought about it for a few minutes . . . realized something awesome . . .

I just don’t care.

That feels pretty good.  I guess I’m over it all.

[19] Posted by Eddie Swain on 3-16-2012 at 08:46 AM · [top]

An ever-fragmenting Communion left withering on the vine by its titular head.  Great credentials.

[20] Posted by DaveW on 3-16-2012 at 08:47 AM · [top]

[18] Undergroundpewster

“Since the Archbishop of Canterbury is automatically a member of the House of Lords he must, under the law of the land be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen.”

So that’s why the British Gov’t is preparing to kick the bishops out of the House of Lords.  OberGruppenBishop Shori has decreed it to be so.

Suddenly things make sense.


[21] Posted by carl on 3-16-2012 at 08:51 AM · [top]

The Brittish government (queen, parliment, prime minister process I know) will appoint the next ABC.  Given the worldview that dominates that system, what do you think are the chances of getting an orthodox replacement?  Erastianism has its downside for sure.

[22] Posted by Ordinary on 3-16-2012 at 08:52 AM · [top]

The queen is techically the supreme governor of the church of England.  She appears to be a faithfule orthodox Christian.  How has she done so far in righting the ship of state?  Insanity is thinking that doing the same thing over and over again and still expecting a different result.

[23] Posted by Ordinary on 3-16-2012 at 08:58 AM · [top]

Headline should read:

Bus driver who let students drive bus over cliff bails out before bus crashes.
Film of the crash should be available between July 5 - 12, 2012.

[24] Posted by cliffg on 3-16-2012 at 09:05 AM · [top]

Carl - now he will go off to do far greater damage: Destroying the minds and souls of university students.

[25] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 3-16-2012 at 09:23 AM · [top]

#25 midwestnorwegian - I was thinking along those lines when I read that he’s hoping to have more time to devote to such things.

[26] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-16-2012 at 09:28 AM · [top]

midwestnorwegian: Re: “ he will go off to do far greater damage: Destroying the minds and souls of university students.”

I’m not so sure about that. I think he’ll get a nice office, with a staff, at the college (which is pronounced “Maudlin” BTW (very appropriate) and he’ll write long obscure scholarly articles which will be printed by the college and reprinted in scholarly journals which nobody will read. Occasionally, one of these articles will be referenced by the popular press, which will refer to him as the “former Archbishop of Canterbury.” No one will bother to read the link, if a link is provided. He’ll attend sherry parties and sink into relative obscurity.

[27] Posted by The Little Myrmidon on 3-16-2012 at 09:38 AM · [top]

Oh that Elizabeth II will have the strength and courage to right The Church as Elizabeth I did in her time.

[28] Posted by Carpe DCN on 3-16-2012 at 09:40 AM · [top]

#18, rules don’t seem to impede KJS.

Even if she can’t get the rules changed, all she would need is a sex change, and a change in citizenship. Those wouldn’t be particularly challenging obstacles for her.

More concerning is that Rowan’s successor will be her puppet. I think she’s capable of pulling that off.

[29] Posted by Ralph on 3-16-2012 at 10:13 AM · [top]

For those who think he’s going to “Magdalene College, Oxford”: There is no Magdalene College, Oxford. So that move would be hard to make. (Think of C. S. Lewis.)

No. 27:
“I think he’ll get a nice office ... and he’ll write long obscure scholarly articles which will be printed by the college and reprinted in scholarly journals which nobody will read…. He’ll attend sherry parties and sink into relative obscurity.”

Why would you think that? Any evidence? Are you assuming he’ll suddenly be afflicted with dementia, God forbid? In fact, his writings are typically both highly literate (I don’t think, for example, he’d use “reference” as a verb) and accessible to the intelligent layman. His books are widely read and cited (and appreciated).

And your notion that his articles would be “printed by the college and reprinted in scholarly journals” is, frankly, bizarre. No self-respecting academic has his articles printed by his college—colleges print newsletters, marketing materials, and admissions brochures—and no reputable journal (and he’s more than capable of publishing in the top ones) REprints stuff from elsewhere.

There are different callings. Being archbishop of Canterbury is nice if you like that sort of administrative work, but being an academic at Cambridge is at least as high a calling—so let’s respect it for what it is.

[30] Posted by David Hein on 3-16-2012 at 10:29 AM · [top]

@ #29: No, if she wants the job, our Katherine would simply redefine some Bible passages to declare that women are men and we are all citizens of wherever we want.  Throw in a couple “Jesus never said anything about fill in the blank…”, some legal threats from that Beers fellow to the Queen, and, VOILA!  She’s the ABC.

[31] Posted by cliffg on 3-16-2012 at 10:47 AM · [top]

Rowan Williams is a polarizing figure to be sure.  But people who are so quick to vilify Williams should maybe take the time to read some of the books he has written before dismissing any future contribution he may make in his new position at Magdalene College, Cambridge. The few books of his that we have in our library contain a wisdom and reflect a deep Christian spirituality that I pray he has many more years to communicate. 

As for his legacy, time will only tell what he will be most remembered for.  In the greater scheme of things perhaps the most important feature of his arch-episcopacy will not be how he handled the Anglican communion crisis but his commitment to mission which too often flies under our radar screens.  Admittedly, the Fresh Expressions initiative at times produces some odd results that I have some hesitancy about but people are being reached with the gospel and for this I applaud ++Williams for taking the initiative to help make it happen.

[32] Posted by Ross Gill on 3-16-2012 at 10:47 AM · [top]

I agree with tjmcmahon - hard to see how a strong orthodox candidate could possibly emerge out of this process.  Can anyone shed any light on the “six representatives (three clergy and three lay) elected by General Synod to serve as members of the Commission for a five year period”?  I assume that these are the only members of the ABC CNC that are identified as of yet.

Personally, I am thinking that the best hope at this point is probably Sentamu.  Not a stirring choice, but even if Wright was still in the See of Durham, I doubt that Cameron and his allies would select him.  No, this will come down to a choice between another liberal and, at best, a moderate who has something else going for him (i.e. Sentamu who is non-white and the ABY).

[33] Posted by jamesw on 3-16-2012 at 10:58 AM · [top]

David Hein writes: “No self-respecting academic has his articles printed by his college.” Well, no self-respecting Archbishop of Canterbury has ever done with this fellow has done. A bizarre notion? Rowan has taken bizarre notions to a whole new level.

[34] Posted by polycarp on 3-16-2012 at 10:59 AM · [top]

Praying the LORD will have mercy and raise a godly man with conviction and backbone to the Chair of St Augustine.

[35] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 3-16-2012 at 11:13 AM · [top]

Just read this from an interview with the Press Association:

During your time as Archbishop, there have been a lot of difficulties within the Anglican Communion over the issue of gays.  I wondered if, in many ways, you might be relieved to be going?

Crisis management is never a favourite activity, I have to admit, but it’s not as if that has overshadowed everything.  It’s certainly been a major nuisance, but in every job that you’re in, there are controversies and conflicts and this one isn’t going to go away in a hurry.  So I can’t say that there’s a great sense of ‘free at last’.

The issue of gays was a major nuisance?  Those pesky conservatives who insist on following Scripture have just made my time as ABC so unpleasant!

[36] Posted by hanks on 3-16-2012 at 11:15 AM · [top]

You are all evading, hemming, hawing nd hedging.

Let’s get real and honest now:

1. Williams’s living legacy, The Continuing Indaba Project, will live on as deadly and destructive sin is promoted and defended in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH, and in the name of the Anglican Communion.

2. Williams’s immediate (and premature) defense of the murdered Uganda ‘gay’ assuming it was a martyrdom rather than a sleazy sexual assignation and business deal gone bad, is the high point of William’s tenure in office.

3. The low point of William’s reign was the ACC meeting in Jamaica wherein through his sleight of hand, a shell-game of sorts, he handed the Anglican Covenant into the hands of the revisionists to be gelded of any pretense of discipline in which the Continuing Indaba Project was slipped in under the table.

4. The second lowest point was his extravagant morally corrupt and financially defunct Lambeth Conference…in which bishops marched for poverty and then dined and wined lavishly afterward and in which no real discussion or decisions about the critical and divisive issues was allowed.

5. ABC Rowan Williams will be remembered for his slippery betrayals, his brilliant, but dastardly machinations, his serpentine tongue and pen, his betrayal of the orthodox and most of all his bowing to the lower nature of mankind promoted and defended by various agenda groups from thecruel barbaric misogynist racist Islamic law, to sexual deviancy. 

6. At least Williams was consistent.

[37] Posted by St. Nikao on 3-16-2012 at 11:42 AM · [top]

For those who think he’s going to “Magdalene College, Oxford”: There is no Magdalene College, Oxford. So that move would be hard to make.

Yes there is.

[38] Posted by Fr. David McElrea (formerly farstrider+) on 3-16-2012 at 11:49 AM · [top]

No. 38: Have it your way. But there wasn’t when I was there.

[39] Posted by David Hein on 3-16-2012 at 11:58 AM · [top]

In order that we all be as well educated as the Brits, here is a piece of trivis we all need to know so we can discourse in a scintillating manner.  In Oxford there is a college called Magdalen pronounced “Maudlin”.  In Cambridge there is a college called Magdalene pronounced just like Mary (Magdalene).  Note that one has an “e” the other does not.  Another piece of exceedingly trite trivia - one gives a DPhil and one gives a Phd - don’t ask me which is which because I could care less….. Happy Trivia Day

[40] Posted by NED on 3-16-2012 at 12:03 PM · [top]

(with apologies to Seitze Buning)..

It is style to announce one’s retirement several months in advance. 

It is class to announce one’s retirement several years in advance.


[41] Posted by J Eppinga on 3-16-2012 at 12:04 PM · [top]

It would appear that the following names have been put forth by various sources as the leading contenders for ABC:
1) Nick Baines (Bradford) - apparently the liberal favorite.
2) John Sentamu (York) - moderate, spoke out against same-sex marriage, but is okay with civil partnerships.  Many see him as the favorite at this point.
3) John Inge (Worcester) - don’t know about him, but Ruth Gledhill claims inside scoop that he is a strong contender
4) Richard Chartres (London) - moderate.  Gledhill discounts him as a serious contender due to his opposition to women bishops.
5) Tim Stevens (Leicester) - don’t know about him.

[42] Posted by jamesw on 3-16-2012 at 12:05 PM · [top] - Where Dr. Williams is going.

[43] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 3-16-2012 at 12:23 PM · [top]

I remember when Williams was first appointed, and I spoke in ignorance of what I was saying about Rowan Atkinson being named Archbishop of Canterbury. Those more in the know than me burst out laughing and corrected me. Yet in retrospect, regrettably, there was a prescience to the remark.

[44] Posted by Adam 12 on 3-16-2012 at 12:49 PM · [top]

Seems to me that appointing a conservative would be asking faithful Christians to try to mend something which is irreparably broken, and to turn back down a path leading to years or decades more conflict with numerically dominant liberals, in an institution completely gutted by secular society and values. Going back is the same as turning away. A shame to turn away from what has been built despite the white druid. Putting in a conservative would be the ultimate accomplishment of this awful ABC, and the stalemate that would result would lead to decades more of the same paralysis that was Rowan’s aim.

[45] Posted by paradoxymoron on 3-16-2012 at 12:59 PM · [top]

Bishop Inge’s Lenten Message.

[46] Posted by Brad Drell on 3-16-2012 at 01:36 PM · [top]

The online betting site Paddy Power ( gives the following odds for the next ABC:

1. John Sentamu (11/8)
2. Tie: Richard Chartres & Christopher Cocksworth (7/2)
3. Nick Baines (6/1)
4. Justin Welby (9/1)
5. NT Wright (10/1)

I think we would be hard pressed to do much better than Richard Chartres, but I believe Gledhill is right that his opposition to women priest & bishops will seriously hurt his chances.

I know Sentamu is the favorite, but he has had several perceived public gaffes of late.

Surely NT Wright said goodbye to an opportunity to be ABC when he returned to academia, though I’d leap for joy if he were the choice.

There is also this to consider regarding age: the ABC is “required” to retire when he turns 70. Of the potential nominees above, Chartres will turn 66 next year, Sentamu will be 64, and Wright will be 64 as well.  That means that they would either have to retire before the next Lambeth Conference in 2018, or would barely make it.  Unless some rules are changed, I doubt the Crown Nominations Commission would do that.  That then leaves Cocksworth, Baines, and Welby from the above list, all of whom are unknown quantities to me.

[47] Posted by JBallard on 3-16-2012 at 02:10 PM · [top]

I took the Oxford from the ABC website statement, but it has now been updated.

[48] Posted by mr_gimlet on 3-16-2012 at 03:16 PM · [top]

And as for any chance that KJS could ever be ABC, forget it.  There is no chance….period, although she certainly won’t pass up the chance to run things via the ACC.  That woman just loves to rule the roost….as she’s shown since TEC fouled up and made her the PB.

[49] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-16-2012 at 03:31 PM · [top]

JBallard: Interesting that this site doesn’t include all the names that have been mentioned elsewhere.  I agree with you that N.T. Wright is likely out of the race (though I wish it were otherwise).  I fear that Nick Baines, the liberal pick, will be the one chosen.  My strong suspicion is that David Cameron would love to have a pro-gay marriage ABC enthroned to neuter the CofE influence in what looks to be a tough slog for him imposing gay marriage in Britain.

[50] Posted by jamesw on 3-16-2012 at 03:32 PM · [top]

The last decade has been a challenging time for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. Thankfully, Archbishop Rowan is a remarkable and gifted leader who has strengthened the bonds of affection.

This statement alone should disqualify the Archbishop of York.

[51] Posted by Fr. Dale on 3-16-2012 at 06:04 PM · [top]

Ok, so he is resigning.  This fulfills a lot of peoples dreams and hopes.  But now that you have gotten your wish you may like his replacement even less.  I am not saying be happy with the status quo but sometimes it is much better than the alternative.  Just look what happened when KJS came on-board as the head person fulfilling some of the same peoples dreams for a replacement.  I wish them (CoE) well and just pray the Queen exerts some positive influence in the church and the choice.

[52] Posted by catwrangler on 3-17-2012 at 08:53 AM · [top]

I don’t think anyone here expects a good replacement catwrangler. So the assumption in your comment—that we’ve gotten “our wish” and blindly celebrating without thought for the future—is not only odd but finds no support in the comments or opinions expressed above.

[53] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-17-2012 at 09:10 AM · [top]

RE: “But now that you have gotten your wish . . .

Eh?  I wonder if you’ve read much here?  Gloom and hopelessness over his replacement is more of what you’d have seen.

RE: “Just look what happened when KJS came on-board as the head person fulfilling some of the same peoples dreams for a replacement. “

Now *she* has fulfilled my hopes and dreams.  I was ecstatic the moment she was elected—never forget it, on the cell phone going down an escalator at the General Convention—and just chortled.  She was an *excellent* replacement for Griswold who was always too crafty and vague to ever let people know what he actually believed.  There’s no question in the minds of most of my moderate church friends that she’s a raving heretic—they all know that, when they didn’t recognize that with Griswold.  She has been a complete success from my perspective as a conservative needing people to recognize how ghastly the leadership of our church is.

[54] Posted by Sarah on 3-17-2012 at 12:21 PM · [top]

From a humorous angle:

Told my dad about +Rowan heading back to academia.  His response was “Those who can’t do, teach.”  When I shared this with a friend of ours today, he said, “Those who can’t teach teach gym.”  I have no desire to see +Rowan in gym shorts and I really don’t think he’d know how to use a whistle with authority.  wink

I wish the man well, praying for his and his wife’s transition while praying for his successor.  But I’d rather have one that brings clarity like KJS than what we’ve had in the past - Griswold, etc.  Better to know what you’re up against.

[55] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-17-2012 at 02:55 PM · [top]

No. 55: I’m waiting for the “humorous angle” you promised. What did your father do for a living? Actually, I’ve heard that “Those who can’t teach [and especially those who can’t do scholarship] administer.” In fact, if most of us tried to run a classroom like this communion has been run, we’d have no end of confusion and disorder and complaints and end-runs and…. We’d never be able to stay on the syllabus. Hmmmm….

[56] Posted by David Hein on 3-17-2012 at 03:11 PM · [top]

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