Retiring Archbishop Rowan Williams lamented that he did not do enough to prevent a split between Conservative and Liberal Anglicans concerning homosexuality and admits the Church was wrong in how it treated homosexuals. He takes some blame for the rift in the Anglican Communion and admits he could have done more, but stated that the duties of the Archbishop are more than one person can handle.
He spent more than a decade trying to keep the peace within the Anglican Communion and prevent a divide between traditional and liberal Anglicans within the Communion, especially after the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson. He laments that he did not go to the States sooner and attempt to intervene.
Archbishop Williams stated that he did not believe he ever “got it right”, even over the last ten years and stated that the Anglican Church’s treatment of homosexuals “was wrong.”
"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 theUnited Stateswhen things began to get difficult about the ordination of gay bishops, and engaged more directly," he toldBritain'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.
The Archbishop stated that the Communion is planning to overhaul the duties of the Archbishop and appoint someone in a “presidential figure” position to take over some of the duties of the Archbishop, so that the Archbishop can see to just spiritually leading the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion represents 85 million people worldwide and the Archbishop is the spiritual leader of the Church of England and Anglicans, including Episcopalians, all over the world.
Archbishop Williams plans to retire in December of this year and the Anglican Communion will appoint a new Archbishop.