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.