The Centre Cannot Hold

I’m not a Christian, nor even religious, but I have respect for Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury. I say current, because it was announced today that he will be stepping down at the end of the year from his post and returning to academia.

I couldn’t resist a wry smile at this quote from the article:

…he has been respected on all sides for his gifts as a preacher of great eloquence and flashes of clarity.

Yes, “flashes of clarity” – I confess that I find his writing a bit of a struggle to comprehend. A clear writer he is not. I sometimes amuse myself by putting his prose through the reading comprehension tester in Microsoft Word. Inevitably it will rate the text as being difficult to understand.

I think that he’s basically a good man, who has been trying to do an impossible job as leader of the Anglican Church. It will probably come as a relief to be able to pass on the poisoned chalice to his successor. That looks as though it may well be John Sentamu, whose hard-line views will contrast greatly with Williams. I can’t say that I feel particularly well-disposed towards Sentamu, based on his past performance. Still, I shouldn’t think that’s going to worry him one iota.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to The Centre Cannot Hold

  1. Al Feersum says:

    I dunno. I found Rowan Willams a bit dry – although a lot less so than his predecessor. I think they should have someone with a bit of life as The Right Reverendship: get Dr John Sentamu in. After all, he’s next in line to the throne. Maybe the Anglicans will start getting higher memberships as a result…

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      He may be dry, but I found his heart to be in the right place. Carey was/is scary. A real example of all that is wrong about Anglicanism. And Sentamu’s views always seem to be counter to mine. I don’t think he likes/understands gay people (despite any of that “love the sinner, hate the sin” tosh), and he seems to imply that women should know their place…

      Anyway, it’s not my affair, being resolutely non-Christian. But don’t expect me to hold back if he sets out his stall in the public marketplace of ideas.

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