Sunday, January 07, 2007

Whatever Happened to "Wise as Serpents?"

The Church Times has a report by Pat Ashworth covering the recently leaked letter from Rowan Williams to the primates, in which it was disclosed that Dr Williams invites Dr Jefferts Schori to Primates’ Meeting.
Today, in the Telegraph Jonathan Petre reports that Archbishop fears Church schism in gay row. This is based on an interview in an ITV documentary to be aired tomorrow in Britain (11 am, ITV1). According to the Telegraph:
The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that he fears losing control of the worldwide Anglican Church, which is on the brink of schism over homosexuality.
In a surprisingly frank assessment of the crisis, Dr Rowan Williams said that he feared anything that set Christians more deeply at odds with each other.
“And because I am an ordinary, sinful human being, I fear the situation slipping out of my control, such as it is,” he said…
“I fear schism, not because I think it’s the worst thing in the world but because, at this particular juncture, it’s going to be bad for us. It’s going to drive people into recrimination and bitterness.”
In a documentary on Canterbury Cathedral to be broadcast on ITV tomorrow, the archbishop added: “We can’t take it for granted that the Anglican Communion will go on as it always has been.
“Of course that’s unsettling, of course that’s painful for everybody, but there’s no way of moving on without asking the hard questions.”
My response:

In this country, the Presiding Bishop would hire Speed Leas or some other really good consultant to map out how to deal with the conflicts and maximize the chances for resolving it or dealing with it with positive results all around. I assume we would even consider a facilitator other than the presiding officer for a gathering like the Primates' next meeting.  Instead we have an academic with little real world savvy who has backed and filled on his own intellectual commitments chairing a Primates' meeting filled with enormous misunderstandings, even bigger egos, massive cultural differences and an agenda full of gender issues about which the Archbishop of Canterbury seems uniquely unsuited to understand, much less illuminate.
What was it that Jesus of Nazareth said? "Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves."

1 comment:

John said...

Glad to see another post from you Tom. I thought something was wrong with my computer since you had not posted since September of 2006.
I think that Rowan Williams might be better off in the realization and admit that the situation is out of his control and it is in God's hands. I also think that the situation is much deeper than homosexuality, although homosexuality might have been the trigger that set off the recent controversy, but this chasm between people in the Anglican Communion has been brewing for a long time.