Friday, March 16, 2012

Integrity Responds to +Rowan Williams Resignation

In response to the announcement this morning that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will be stepping down at the end of the year in order to take on a new position as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, Integrity President Caroline Hall released the following statement:

"This decade has arguably been the most tumultuous time for Anglicans since the end of the English Civil War. It has been an incredibly difficult time to be Archbishop of Canterbury, officially the "Instrument of Unity" in an Anglican Communion struggling with disunity and at times outright hostility."

"When he was elected we had high hopes that Rowan Williams would be willing to take a bold stand on LGBT inclusion. Those hopes were dashed almost immediately when he bowed to conservative pressure and forced Jeffrey John, an English gay man in a celibate relationship, to step down from his nominations as Bishop of Reading. We were also disappointed by his failure to respect Episcopal Church polity and his failure to invite and welcome the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops. In his attempts to keep everyone at the table, Williams has proved more willing to listen to conservative than to liberal voices, even though his own theological position is more progressive."

"I certainly admire his ability to stay in this position for a decade. To be called to leadership in the middle of rapid and contentious change is never easy and Williams has been the target for acrimonious letters and emails since he was first elected."

"Integrity wishes him well in his new position and prays that when God calls the next Archbishop he will be a forward-looking person of great courage who understands that to be the Instrument of Unity may not mean keeping everyone together in a unholy alliance. We hope that the members of the Crown Appointments Commission and the British Prime Minster will not bow to the forces who seek to keep the Church of England, and by example, the rest of the Anglican Communion, in the dark ages where women, gays, lesbians and trans-people are not welcome in the House of Bishops and thus are not welcome at all."

For further information, contact:
Louise Brooks, Director of Communication 626.993.4605

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