He gives a very measured, very controlled, very deliberate speech to the Anglican Consultative Council this evening, noting that perhaps there might something he calls an "intensely-felt stand-off" underway.
He sounds weary, how could he not, but attempts to strike an optimistic tone even as he speaks sadly in the midst of what he calls glorious, if not miserable, failure. He takes the position in his address as if he's an outsider, a commentator himself, watching from the outside, walking about like a headmaster having a "sit-down" with a naughty-class.
The possibility of division is there, Rowan Williams says when it comes to addressing the Covenant. Will it be a federation of dispersed associations where some are bound strongly to one another and some less, he asks? How do we preserve the structures that will allow us to do what we still want to do together? How do the instruments of Communion continue, as organs of life-giving exchange even as other coalitions and alliances are established? Good questions, your Grace.
He chastises the gathering for "ceaseless rhetoric of fear and competition and rivalry and resentment." He advises that a little tutorial on how to do resolutions might come in handy for next time. Here he is as headmaster, having a little chat with a rather unruly class after a disastrous field trip gone awry. He admonishes the gathering to play nicely, don't be mean, and share your toys.
The real church just happens, he adds. Wonder if Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer would say about that, that real church just happens as they are burned up? On the other hand, the present Archbishop of Canterbury says he hopes for the failure that lets the glory thorough - and quite frankly, perhaps on that point, the martyrs would agree.
Here is the audio of Rowan William's Presidential Address:
The text is here.