Rowan Williams and the trouble with the Anglican church

Rowan WilliamsRecently the 104th Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, provoked outrage suggesting that the adoption of elements of Islamic sharia law in Britain was "unavoidable" if social cohesion was to be fostered in Britain. He called the principle of one law for everybody "a bit of a danger".

Unfortunately for the Anglican church, this was more than a public relations blunder, it is the symptom of a broader crisis.

In July 800 Anglican bishops from around the world will meet for the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference. There the dispute over homosexual clergy will come to a head with the Archbishop caught in the middle. He holds the untenable position of support for the offical church teaching on the matter while being personally in favour of "faithful" homosexual relationships.

Or is he? Gays must change, says archbishop Now I'm really confused: Archbishop calls secret service for gay clergy.

Either way expect a mess. Institutions decline very very slowly over long periods of time, and then very quickly. How is this possible?

It helps to have: 1. A bucket load of denial 2. The assets of previous generations 3. Amnesia regarding your core beliefs and mission 4. Lots of discussion about "the way forward" with no action