The Archbishop of Canterbury announced March 17, 2012 that he would step down at the end of 2012 and go back to academia as Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, England. The ABC has had a tough ride since he was appointed by former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002.
We rebellious Americans insisted upon being inclusive infuriating the traditional Africans who are anything but. Williams tried to make peace in the Anglican Communion but succeeded only in exacerbating the problem by fuzzing up the boundaries of what an independent church may do and still be part of the Communion. The Anglican Covenant solved none of the problems but has undermined the fundamental principles of the Communion itself with its meddling and two class membership. No wonder it has met with unenthusiastic response and perhaps with Williams retirement the Covenant will also go back to academia.
At the ends of the process the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury is a political matter. This is a hot potato Prime Minister Cameron probably also wishes would go away. So expect a deliberate selection process designed to find the least worst outcome.
We wish Rowan Williams well in retirement. He certainly is entitled to a little peace.
- For a solid story on Rowan Williams tenure as ABC recommended to me by Ann Scott see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/03/the-velvet-reformation/7292/
- Archbishop Of Canterbury Stepping Down The End of 2012 (lezgetreal.com)
- Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to stand down (queeringthechurch.com)
- Archbishop of Canterbury Resigns (the2012scenario.com)