Monday, November 16, 2009

It's time for Dr Rowan Williams to square up to a rampant Rome

From The London Telegraph-

I've lost count of the times I've been asked joshingly over the past couple of weeks whether I'm going over to Rome. I'd love to go to Rome, I reply, not least because my daughter has promised to buy me a Bellini in her favourite bar by the Pantheon. But there is about as much chance of me taking up the Vatican's offer of conversion to Roman Catholicism, under its new Apostolic Constitution, as there is of Pope Benedict XVI subsidising free condoms for Africa.

On Thursday, Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, makes his own journey to Rome. It's just a long-standing two-day business trip, you understand. He's not taking the Church of England with him. But I've been speaking to Anglican bishops who ask, wide-eyed, why he's going at all, so soon after the Pope's dawn raid on English Anglo-Catholics.

One of our senior bishops wanted to know why Dr Williams was bounced into attending the press conference, called hastily to announce Benedict's takeover bid – and staged alongside his top man in England, Archbishop Vincent Nichols – in the Roman Church's London gaff. Why hadn't Dr Williams, this bishop wanted to know, just instructed his chief spin doctor to say airily that he was busy and the Pope's acquisitive ambitions weren't a matter for him? Why didn't he also let it be known that he would no longer be going to Rome this week, because he and the Pontiff no longer had ecumenical common ground to discuss?

None of that would be in Dr Williams's nature, of course. We'd be entering an alternative reality in which Harrison Ford plays him in the movie, bursting into Benedict's Vatican chamber and hissing: "What's your game, Benny?" The Pope (played by Rutger Hauer) slowly turns: "Vot do you sink I'm doing, unshaven one? For you, ze Communion is over."

More here-

No comments: