Much of the interview concerns economic issues, about which Williams does indeed seem to be a liberal. Then there is this:
Has the intensity of the quarrel [over gay bishops] become difficult to deal with? “Well, no more difficult than usual. It’s an ongoing set of problems. It’s to do with a Church that tries to span some very different cultures, and which is often rather unwilling to learn across cultures… It’s easier, sometimes, to go to our corners.”In this brief quotation from the “spiritual head” of the Anglican Communion lies the answer to why the archbishop seems intent upon destroying the Anglican Communion as we have known and supported it. This man thinks the Anglican Communion is a church, and he is working to preserve the coherence and integrity of a church, a task that would simply be unnecessary for a communion, where such lockstep unity is not a requirement.
Rowan Williams is, of course, well educated, and he cannot be ignorant of the history of the Anglican Communion or of the great resistance in the past to centralizing decision-making within it. The problem, as I see it, is that Williams is very catholic in his outlook and, in his heart of hearts, would like to see Anglicans unite with Roman Catholics. Such a union can hardly be effected when Anglicans cannot seem to unite even with one another.
Whether the Archbishop of Canterbury’s dream of ecclesiastical union has created the delusion that the Anglican Communion is a church or whether he has chosen to embrace a lie in the furtherance of his ecclesiastical goals I cannot say. Neither explanation is very flattering.