Anglican leader rebuffs challenge to his authority

Rowan Williams and GAFCON
The archbishop of Canterbury has declared that conservatives’ plans to usurp his leadership in the Anglican Communion are “problematic in all sorts of ways,” saying Anglicans must renew— not dismiss—their now-frayed connections.

Archbishop Rowan Williams responded June 30 to a summit in Amman, Jordan, and Jerusalem of more than 1,000 conservatives who had announced plans to create a new council of top archbishops to oversee like-minded Anglicans.

In a direct challenge both to Williams, regarded as the spiritual leader of 77 million Anglicans, and to traditional geographic lines of authority, the conservatives also plan to build a new North American province for Anglicans upset with the liberal sway of their national churches.

“It is not enough to dismiss the existing structures of the communion,” Williams said. “If they are not working effectively, the challenge is to renew them rather than improvise solutions.”


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