Fraser Nelson

Damaged reputations

Damaged reputations
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Unkind souls joke that proof of Tony Blair's Catholicism came not on his conversion, but when he recommended Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Under his tenure his church has seen schism (over gay clergy) whilst being overtaken by Catholicism in attendees for the first time since the Reformation. This Archbishop lost my confidence when he was the only person not to answer a Spectator survey asking people if they believe in the physical reality of the resurrection. Given his description of the Nativity as a "legend", I can understand why. If only he were as tight-lipped over Sharia Law.

 

Yet The Times has a scoop - moves are finally afoot to oust him. From Ruth Gledhill, perhaps the best religious affairs correspondent in Fleet St, so we can take this seriously. Interesting to see they broke this online, rather than have it splash tomorrow's edition. I'm not an Anglican, so in a way this isn't my business. But my nominee is John Sentamu, whom I consider one of the most impressive clergymen at work right now. If the Vatican could stomach a Pole as pope, surely the CoE can handle a Ugandan? It has has lost 20% of its flock in the last eight years. It cannot go on with pews emptying at this rate. Williams is wandering into a minefield - but it's his church, and not just his reputation, sustaining the damage.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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