9/29/2012

Nomination for Archbishop of Canterbury not so easy.

Ruth Gledhill of the Times and George Conger of Anglican Ink have both posted stories that indicate that the Crown Nominations Committee has failed to reach a decision about who to propose as first and second nominees for Archbishop of Canterbury.  Thinking Anglicans has done a fine job of pulling together various materials that would help in understanding the nomination process.The Crusty Ol' Dean has a fine article on the process, viewed from an US perspective.

The Crown Nominations Committee itself has said nothing about the whole thing except the following (from the Anglican Communion News Service):

"This week's meeting of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) has been accompanied by much speculation about possible candidates and the likely timing of an announcement of the name of who will succeed Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury when he steps down to become Master of Magdalene College. 

The CNC is an elected, prayerful body. Its meetings are necessarily confidential to enable members to fulfil their important responsibilities for discerning who should undertake this major national and international role.  Previous official briefings have indicated that an announcement is expected during the autumn and that remains the case; the work of the Commission continues.  There will be no comment on any speculation about candidates or about the CNC's deliberations. Dr Williams remains in office until the end of December."

The important phrase here is "the work of the Commission continues."  Apparently it does indeed.

Earlier this month the Archbishop of Canterbury opined that perhaps the job is too big for any one person and that some of the international and communion wide efforts of his office might be take on by a "president" who would officially represent the Communion where needed.  His suggestion, given in a newspaper interview, raised considerable speculation about whether or not such a thing was a good idea or not.  Here at Preludium we wondered why the Secretary General might not take on some of those duties on behalf of the Archbishop. Now, given the Crown Nominations Committee's need for continuing work, we wonder if part of the problem is that there is little chance of finding someone who has the drive all at once for diocesan, Church of England, Anglican Communion and Ecumenical work.

What if the Archbishop is right - that the job is too big?  What if the Crown Nominations Committee were to chose a candidate who partially fulfilled the widest range of the Archbishop's current duties? I would suppose that the primary needs would be local - dealing with the CofE.  Suppose they chose and the Prime Minister advised to the Queen that the person be made Archbishop with the clear instructions to shed himself of the burdens of some aspects of the international / ecumenical work and instead direct the oversight of those efforts to the Anglican Consultative Council and the officers of the Anglican Communion Office?  

Well, we will see. As it is the Nominations Committee will have its hands full for a while yet.

Pray for the Crown Nominations Committee, the Church of England, the various candidates, and, o yes, pray for the church...we all could use some mercy now.

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