April 20, 2012

Advice to the Crown Nominations Commission

A few days ago, I expressed ambivalence—see “On Giving Advice about the Next Archbishop of Canterbury”—about offering my opinion regarding the sort of person who should be chosen to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Nevertheless, in that earlier post, I concluded that “[a]s long as Anglicans across the Communion are being asked for their opinions, I may as well give it.”

Today, I did exactly that. Here is what I said to the Crown Nominations Commission:
 As an Episcopalian, it feels arrogant to be telling the Church of England how to select its bishops. Therefore, my most important advice is to select an archbishop who will address the needs of the members of the Church of England and, in light of establishment, the needs of the English people. The incumbent has misconstrued his position as that of Archbishop of the Anglican Communion rather than as Archbishop of Canterbury.

I have one more related suggestion, which I press for the benefit of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion alike. Please select a candidate who will let the Anglican Communion Covenant die a quiet death. The Covenant has already created a two-tier Communion, a situation likely to make the job of the next Archbishop of Canterbury as spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion needlessly difficult.

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