Archbishop Rown Williams,Leader of Anglican communion, to step down
Queen of England will formally appoint his successor
Head of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has announced that he will step down from his post at the end of the year. The archbishop of Canterbury, Williams has held the top role in the Church of England for 10 years.
Head of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has announced that he will step down from his post at the end of the year. The archbishop of Canterbury, Williams has held the top role in the Church of England for 10 years.
The Crown Nominations Commission will consider who will follow Williams in the role "in due course," his office said.
In the meantime, Williams has accepted the position of master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University. He will assume the position in January, a statement on his Web site said.
"It has been an immense privilege to serve as archbishop of Canterbury over the past decade, and moving on has not been an easy decision." Williams said.
Williams thanked those who had "brought vision, hope and excitement" to his ministry.
Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon had written to senior church leaders to announce Williams' resignation.
Williams' time in office has "coincided with a period of turmoil, change and development in the Anglican Communion, and his careful leadership, deeply rooted in spirituality and theology, has strengthened and inspired us all in the Communion during this time," Kearon is quoted as saying.
The issues of active homosexual practice, along with women bishops and other clergy have caused public tension and deep division within the Anglican Communion during Williams' tenure. In addition, the slow erosion of orthodox doxtrine and practice, have caused serious rifts within the Anglican communion.
While Williams came out against gay marriage, speaking of the dangers of "imposing" this on the rest of the population, he is generally perceived to be a liberal and is credited with pushing through the ordination of women bishops which had been a major controversy.
The issue of recognizing homosexual practice as morally acceptable and homosexual and lesbian partnerships as the moral equivalent of authentic marriage has already torn apart the Anglican community in the United States and is anathema to most African Anglicans, which is the church's largest population.
General Synod member Andrea Minichiello Williams, who heads the British group Christian Concern, urged the Church of England to "move decisively" to find a successor who would provide a clear voice on divisive topics.
"There are many issues confronting our nation at the moment, which have raised the question of the place of Christian faith in British society. This is, therefore, a crucial time for the established church in this country to provide leadership, clarity and direction as many people want," she said in a statement.
Among those considered likely to take over from Williams is the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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