I'm posting from Heathrow, waiting to board my flight back to Washington. Been thinking about the "news" that's truly been headline news last night and this morning about Rowan Williams and gay marriage. Why would those letters come up now - after eight years? Who gains from those letters being released? Does it not make it look as thought the Archbishop of Canterbury is two-faced? Who would gain from such a release, eight years later? Surely what he holds/held privately - and there's been very little dispute about it - has come in conflict with what he sees as best for the Anglican Communion. So - what is going on releasing these letters now?
As I said, if this was American politics, this would be seen as opposition research. It's designed to weaken the Archbishop and shame him - either for being two-faced or for betraying the cause.
Since we all know that Rowan has held these views in the past - and certainly he reiterated his own stance of "don't ask, don't tell" (whatever one does in the privacy of one's own clergy or bishop chambers blessing people is not the same as doing it publicly with invites and hymns and service leaflets and flowers) at the press conference at the close of the Lambeth Conference. But he also reiterated that he does not support what TEC has been doing - and by its silence in disciplining those who are doing it - promoting those practices to the detriment of the rest of the Communion. If there is anything we can be sure of, it is that Rowan Williams love the Church, perhaps more than his own convictions.
Is that leadership? Again, from an American standpoint, no. We look for leadership by those who hold a vision and a plan, not in an academic exercise of indaba. But it did form relationships, there's no doubt about that - for better or worse - and how those relationships are strengthened or weakened through "opposition research" moments such as this will tell us where the heart of the Anglican Communion remains, in a British colonial model of affection or in a realignment based on faith. Engaging in these kind of political tactics reveals that there are those who care more about their own agenda - what ever it may be - then what is morally right.
With that said, I'm off to board the plane. Again, thank you all for your support, your wonderful comments, your thoughts, ideas, and most of all for your prayers. May God bless you!