Split Not Inevitable

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in an interview to be published on Friday, in Time says he is not optimistic about the future of the Anglican Church but adds that a schism over gay issues is not inevitable, reports Michael Conlon, Religion Writer for Reuters.

The state of the 77-million-member global church “feels very vulnerable. I can’t, of course, deny that. It feels very vulnerable and very fragile, perhaps more so than it’s been for a very long time,” Williams told Time Magazine.

“I don’t think schism is inevitable. The task I’ve got is to try and maintain as long as possible the space in which people can have constructive disagreements, learn from each other, and try and hold that within an agreed framework of discipline and practice.” Asked if was optimistic, Williams said “I’m hopeful. Not optimistic,” agreeing that “hopeful” was a “safer” word.

Later in the interview Archbishop Williams explains his thinking on which bishops to invite to the Lambeth Conference and why he left Bishop Robinson and Bishop Minns off the list,

“In the Time interview Williams said he did that to avoid the two bishops becoming the focus of the 2008 meeting.

“The mode of their appointment in the face of substantial protest simply means their bishoping is going to be under question in large parts of the Anglican world,” he said

“Regarding Robinson, one thing I’ve tried to make clear is that my worry about his election was that the Episcopal Church hadn’t made a general principled decision about the blessing of same-sex unions or the ordination of people in public same-sex partnerships,” he said.

“I would think it better had the church actually taken a view on that before moving to the individual case. As it is, someone living in a relationship not theologically officially approved by the church is elected to a bishop. I find that bizarre and puzzling,” Williams said.

Read it all HERE

UPDATE: Time podcast of interview HERE

Time article HERE

Interview printed HERE

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