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LETTER – Dr Rowan Williams: Archbishop of Canterbury



Dr Rowan Williams - Archbishop of Canterbury




Dr Rowan Williams


I do not for one moment doubt Dr Williams’ sincerity or spirituality. Indeed he has the authentic demeanour of a truly holy man. But why in God’s name did he accept the office he is about to vacate? He is Primate of an Established Church with the democratic privilege of seats and votes in the House of Lords; the approval of the Establishment defined by his appointment; and a guaranteed media platform from which to offer moral, not just spiritual leadership to the nation.


Where then were the trenchant, courageously dissenting political views now leaked to promote a valedictory book, when they were needed; from within his office utilising all the influence it’s privilege permits? His ineffective responses to issues like the illegal invasion of Iraq; unrestrained planet-threatening economic growth; fatuous platitudes about a ‘Big Society’; and failure to use a uniquely powerful platform from which to voice critical moral distinctions between moderate religious faith and fundamentalism of all kinds – all are damning. The contrast between his even-handed whispers in office and now trumpeted views – beggars belief.


The clue sadly lies within Dr Williams’ own domain: all right thinking people with a shred of humanity know that the spectra of homophobia and misogyny displayed by all the major religions, not least the various Christian communions – was, is, and always will be, atavistic and morally indefensible.


As with the secular issues above, Dr Williams settled, tragically, for balance at the expense of conviction; reasoned demur instead of passionate advocacy. The result in both spheres was a specious unity which he is only now willing to use his eloquence to challenge.


Too little, too late: what a waste.





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