Church of England picks Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, to lead Anglicans worldwide
The Times of London reports today that Archbishop of Wales Rowan Williams will almost certainly replace George Carey as Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Communion worldwide. The Church of England listed him first of two names submitted to Prime Minister Tony Blair for approval.

"He is very impressed by Rowan and thinks he is a terrific theologian," an unnamed Labor Party source tells the Times. "There is huge enthusiasm both in the Parliamentary Labor Party and in Downing Street. Virtually every Labor MP with a Christian interest wants Rowan." After Blair signs off, it goes to the Queen for approval.

(That the Queen and Prime Minister get to choose the leader of Anglicans worldwide is a matter of some debate. That the Church of England gets to choose the leader of 80 million Anglicans worldwide, though it has only 2 million active members, is not.)

The Times reports, "Williams will … provide a liberal balance to the 11-year incumbency of an evangelical at Lambeth." Likewise, the Guardian says, the appointment will "dismay the rump of Anglican conservatives, rightwing evangelicals and some fundamentalist African bishops who lobbied openly against him because of his stance on homosexuality." But that's painted with a bit of a broad brush. Williams is liberal on sexual ethics issues (he has admitted ordaining at least one practicing homosexual), but much more conservative on other theological issues than many other British bishops. Unlike, say, former Church of Scotland head Richard Holloway, Williams affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus and the Virgin Birth.

By the way, this report isn't being confirmed or denied by ...

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