Williams admits failings over church split

2012-09-08 19:18
Rowan Williams (File, AFP)

Rowan Williams (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has admitted he didn't do enough to prevent sharp divisions within the Anglican church over homosexuality.

Williams, who is stepping down in December, spent much of his decade as archbishop trying to hold the diverse Anglican Communion together after the ordination of the first openly homosexual Anglican bishop, American Gene Robinson, split traditionalists, such as African churches, and liberals.

"I don't think I've got it right over the last 10 years. It might have helped a lot if I'd gone sooner to the United States when things began to get difficult about the ordination of gay bishops, and engaged more directly," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Saturday.

"I know that I've, at various points, disappointed both conservatives and liberals."

The archbishop reiterated the church's opposition to gay marriage but said it had been "wrong" in its past treatment of homosexuals.

"We've not exactly been on the forefront of pressing for civic equality for homosexual people, and we were wrong about that," he told the newspaper.

Williams, 62, also said the Anglican Church is drawing up plans to overhaul the global duties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and introduce the role of a "presidential" figure.

That figure would ideally oversee the day-to-day running of the Anglican Communion so the archbishop can concentrate on leading the Church of England, he told the newspaper.

When he steps down, Williams will take up a new post as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

He was appointed in 2002 as archbishop of Canterbury, the senior official in the Church of England and the spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion, which says it represents 85 million people worldwide.

Read more on:    rowan williams  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.