Texto e imagen desde "Telegraph.co.uk":
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been challenged to declare a split in the Anglican communion by two of his most senior bishops, has emerged surprisingly upbeat from the Lambeth Conference.
By George Pitcher, Religion Editor
Despite 200 primates staying away because of the consecration of the openly gay Gene Robinson as a bishop in New Hampshire Dr Rowan Williams took comfort from the conclusion of the proceedings yesterday.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Telegraph yesterday, the last Sunday of the decennial gathering of the worldwide Anglican church, Dr Rowan Williams evidently did not want to sound triumphalist.
"I'm content, I think," he said. But surely he was elated? "Encouraged," he replied carefully. "Elated is a very dangerous thing to say." But if he'd been offered this Sunday two months ago, would he have taken it? A pause, then: "Yes, definitely."
His body language was speaking even more definitely. After two weeks, averaging 17-hour working days, he sat forward on a leatherette sofa in a soulless suite of rooms he's been using at Kent University, which looked like they hadn't been redecorated since Michael Ramsey was Archbishop in the 1960s shirt-sleeves rolled up as though he was about to start the conference.
"I feel a great deal of what I hoped for has happened," he said. "We've found that very slowly there's a slightly different way of doing business. What we haven't had is a very consistent counter-narrative flowing through the conference from people feeling disenfranchised."
There have been renewed attacks on Dr Williams over the past fortnight; Archbishop Henri Orombi from Uganda accused him of "betrayal" by inviting to the conference colleagues who had consecrated the gay bishop of New Hampshire. He called his office a "remnant of imperial colonialism".
The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt and Rt Rev Michael Langrish, the bishops of Winchester and Exeter, challenged the Archbisbhiop to declare a split in the church for the sake of orthodox christianity.
"That's tough hearing," said Dr Williams of the attack from Uganda. "I felt that Archbishop Orombi's comments slightly misunderstood the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as if the Archbishop directed the Communion. It's a historical given that this is where this particular mission began from and the Archbishop retains permission to convene the Communion. No one has come up with a coherent alternative."
As to the impatient English bishops, he added: "How would you effect a quick separation? It sounds easier than it is. Actually, not easier; it just sounds quicker than it possibly could be.
"And their language that speaks of two churches; I don't think that's been the experience of the overwhelming majority of the people at this conference. What you see at the Eucharist every morning is not two churches."
Dr Williams doesn't deny that there have been times when he feels like throwing the towel in. The heatwave during the middle of the conference doubtless exacerbated tensions that too much was being left too late in the programme. "Every conference I've been to has that rhythm where at some point everybody loses confidence in the process. But when things went wobbly, it was important to say that we don't try to revise the conference's agenda on the back of an envelope. And there's a theology to it – it's something to do with a belief that unity is an active matter, not just a goal to be achieved."
That sounds like leadership, which his detractors have claimed is a quality he lacks. The construction of the conference – with its three-day retreat at the start and small "Indaba" groups of delegates, which provide every bishop with a platform – were Dr Williams's design, but presumably he had to maintain his nerve to see the process through.
Didn't the strain tell? "I'd expect it to feel physically tiring, because it's a long physical day. Jane and I both thought we'd commit to the process, so we pray with everybody in the morning." That meant Dr Williams and his wife leaving the Old Palace at the Cathedral and being on campus every morning for 7.15.
Having the family in Canterbury has clearly relieved some of the stress: "On the few evenings we've been able to knock off by 9 pm and unwind a bit, that's helped with coping."
If that sounds like a party leader at a political conference, the comparison isn't inappropriate. Dr Williams has had a gruelling round of private meetings with bishops from provinces as diverse as Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe and Sudan. "Those are moments when you think the Communion really matters, because those people can bring a global perspective to a local situation."
Whatever the rows over sexuality and new covenants, this is what enthuses Dr Williams about the Anglican Communion. "There may be a complicated development issue that we can broker. To introduce people from that sort of world to people in Government here over the past couple of weeks is what this is about. These relationships are not a waste of time."
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