PLACE YOUR BETS

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 | Uncategorized

Stephen Bates has a go at handicapping the Archbishop of Canterbury field:

John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Bookies’ early favourite, though at 63 would be older than Williams. Loud, self-confident, a relentless self-publicist and ambitious. Originally a refugee from Uganda, where he became a judge and narrowly escaped execution by Idi Amin, he would be the first black archbishop of Canterbury and for that reason a populist choice. Many bishops, though, suspect his intellectual coherence, consistency and judgement. He has come out against the government’s plans for gay marriage – bad timing if he wants to endear himself to ministers – and also wrote what many regard as an over-effusive column, welcoming Rupert Murdoch’s new Sun on Sunday with a “wow!”

Richard Chartres, Bishop of London
Third ranked bishop in the CofE but also older than Williams and decidedly lukewarm about women’s ordination. Probably the most intellectually able bishop, a smooth political operator, a friend of the royal family and a stately, witty episcopal figure well able to rise to state occasions. Early experience as archbishop Robert Runcie’s chaplain (so he knows what the job involves). He is bored by church politics but dealt adroitly with what he saw as the “bloody mess” of St Paul’s Cathedral’s handling of the Occupy protest outside its front doors – bishops do not usually get involved in the daily operation of their cathedrals. Astute and avuncular, he has some inkling of the way the press works from having been once, briefly, church correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.

Graham James, Bishop of Norwich
Probably the current insiders’ choice for archbishop. A safe, cautious selection, though also an Anglo-Catholic, he too was chaplain to Runcie and his successor, George Carey. He is well liked and respected, but would he provide the inspirational leadership or the intellectual agility and self-confidence that the church needs?

Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Bradford
An outside choice, certainly this time and from a slightly (seven years) younger generation than the others. An able communicator and keen blogger, but only recently a diocesan bishop (but so was Carey). Maybe next time round?

The prospect of elevating Sentamu to Lambeth Palace horrifies Riazat Butt.

But the Church of England – and the Anglican Communion – needs someone with a pastoral touch. It needs a man – and it will be a man, because the Church of England is years away from appointing a female bishop let alone a lady archbishop – who can be fair to all points of view rather than imposing absolutes on difficult issues, and someone who can put their personal beliefs aside for the greater good.

Sentamu has come out fighting on the issue of gay marriage and has become the darling of conservatives inside and outside the Church of England. But his views alienate and polarise: there are clergy and parishioners who would love to see same-sex relationships registered in places of worship. An archbishop is not a spokesman or a pundit to be wheeled out to comment on the hot topics of the day. His job, in fact, is an impossible one: to accept that some Anglicans will never agree on the issues of gender or homosexuality while at the same time holding everyone together on common issues such as the Millennium Development Goals and the persecution of minority Christian communities around the world.

Rowan Williams’s strength and weakness was his attempt to be fair to everyone, regardless of his own personal feelings. It was why the traditionalists liked him and the liberals hated him. Rather tellingly, the conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics issued statements praising Williams and his legacy within hours of his retirement hitting the headlines. I’ve yet to receive anything from the liberals.

Sentamu, as Archbishop of Canterbury, would indeed provide the decisiveness and leadership that some crave – but his force of personality would also alienate many others.

The beauty of the Church of England is that it is a broad one. Under John Sentamu, it would become considerably narrower.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe that it will matter in the slightest, for the Church of England and for the Anglican Communion, who the next Archbish0p of Canterbury is.  The damage inflicted on Anglicanism by the North Americans and their European allies and enablers is too serious and has spread too far.

But for what it’s worth(and considering my Anglican prediction track record, it’s worth very little), I have to think that whoever’s in charge of putting a name before the Queen will find it impossible to resist recommending that John Sentamu gets the job.

Think of it.  The public face of a still very important international Christian tradition will, for the first time, be African.  How will that look to the world when Sentamu meets the Pope?  Sentamu’s conservatism should keep GAFCON on board and might actually boost the chances of the Anglican Church in North America receiving “official” Communion recognition sooner rather than later.

But there’s another reason why I think that changing John Sentamu’s job description to “Primate of All England” would be extremely beneficial.  Sentamu’s conservatism and the appalled reaction of the British left to the prospect of his getting the top job suggest, to me anyway, that if the next Archbishop of Canterbury proves to be too traditional for leftist tastes, the “Episcopal Communion” led by the Archbishop of New York will get going sooner rather than later.

44 Comments to PLACE YOUR BETS

Fuinseoig
March 17, 2012

Paddy Power (the bookmakers) are giving the following odds online:

John Sentamu – 11/8
Richard Chatres – 7/2
Christopher Cocksworth – 7/2
Graham James – 6/1
Nick Baines – 6/1

plus a range of others with the last being an outsider at 40/1 – Peter Forster.

I don’t know whether Stephen Bates advised Paddy Power’s or vice versa, but you could always stick a few bob on the Archbishop of York, Christopher.

:-)

Fuinseoig
March 17, 2012

“at the same time holding everyone together on common issues such as the Millennium Development Goals”

Of all the things that an archbishop might be asked to do in the course of his duties, this would never have occurred to me as one. Preaching the Gospel or administering the church, yes. Making sure everyone is on the same page regarding the MDGs, no.

You’re right, Christopher. Johnson’s First Law strikes again?

Bill2
March 17, 2012

So the main reason to avoid Sentamu is that he’s likely to express an actual opinion?

That’s not a bug lady, that’s a feature.

Michael D
March 17, 2012

Why not Tom Wright? He has been positioning himself a bit by being nice to the libs, but I think he’s orthodox. And he has some media savvy from he jousts with Dawkins and Hitchens.

Anne B.
March 17, 2012

Yeah, but “Chartres” would be such a great name for an Archbishop. Even better would be an Anglican cleric surnamed Pope, if there are any.

BTW can someone explain to me the mystery numbers quoted by the bookies? I can understand something like 40/1, but what do 11/8 or 7/2 signify? They always make me think of the price tag on the Mad Hatter’s hatband.

WannabeAnglican
March 17, 2012

Chris may your last paragraph come true! May Butt and the like leave the Anglican Communion. It would be addition by subtraction.

William Tighe
March 17, 2012

Sentamu a conservative? In what alternative universe?

Dale Matson
March 17, 2012

“Rowan Williams’s strength and weakness was his attempt to be fair to everyone, regardless of his own personal feelings. It was why the traditionalists liked him and the liberals hated him. Rather tellingly, the conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics issued statements praising Williams and his legacy within hours of his retirement hitting the headlines.” She must be quoting the ABC’s publicist. No way in heck is any of this is the least bit accurate. the Anglo Catholics were praising him? Maybe as they depart to Rome.

Christopher Johnson
March 17, 2012

Describing Sentamu as a conservative Anglican, Prof, is not necessarily the same thing as calling him a conservative Christian. Take people where they are, not where you think they should be.

Dale Matson
March 17, 2012

The CoE, Parliament and QEII listen up! You will be selecting the next leader not just of the CoE or the Commonwealth but of the Anglican Communion. Most of the Anglican Communion is already NOT in fellowship with TEC and the ACoC. The majority is considering whether a Canterbury Pedigree is still worth the baggage of the contemporary CoE. Most of the Anglican Communion has waited patiently for RW to step down. The next choice for ABC had better be for more than English politically expediency or the CoE, TEC and ACoC will be forming their own communion And Gafcon will be the new center of old Anglicanism.

Katherine
March 17, 2012

I could be wrong but I think Riazat Butt is a secular Muslim. I won’t be taking her opinions on what the focus of the CofE should be.

Sentamu is not a conservative in several respects, both in the church and in society, since bishops and archbishops tend to stick their noses into politics. Of the available choices Chartres sounds better than most, but I’m not enthusiastic about the available choices.

William Tighe
March 17, 2012

Anyone remember what Sentamu said about premarital sex a bit before the royal wedding? He may be “conservative” on “homosexual’marriage’,” but that’s really the only thing on which he can be represented as “conservative.”

Father D
March 17, 2012

Is the previous bishop of Rochester to be considered at all?

Dale Matson
March 17, 2012

Fr. D.
Michael Nazir Ali would be my choice. He also understands the Muslim mind. Let’s hope QEII has some input.

LaVallette
March 17, 2012

“It needs a man –…. – who can be fair to all points of view rather than imposing absolutes on difficult issues, and someone who can put their personal beliefs aside for the greater good.”

And therein lies the source of Anglicanism’s inevitable internal disintegration and self destruction. As Shakespeare himself put it in Hamlet

” This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Thus endeth the lesson!

The Pilgrim
March 17, 2012

Michael Nazir Ali has the same chance to be ABC as mark Lawrence has of being Presiding Bishop.

carl
March 17, 2012

N T Wright isn’t a conservative. He’s a liberal. He is simply on the conservative side of the liberal spectrum.

carl

dwstroudmd+
March 17, 2012

Being African would certainly place TEc in a bind, after all those anti-racism classes. The world could see if they meant them as seriously as the gay promotional bits.

It would be rather entertaining – and that’s reason enough. Beats the MDG huggers et alia et cause celebre de jour et alia ad nauseum.

Don Janousek
March 17, 2012

Wow! Considering candidates for the very important and very relevant position of Archbishop of Canterbury! Why, all of the world is on the edge of its seats.

In other news, Junior “Bubba” Shines of Dumptruck, Alabama is the front-runner in the race to replace current Pope Billy Bob “Cornpone” Tyler as the Pope of the Back Yonder Holler Primitive Snake-Handling Church in Grits, West Virginia and Ms. Alicia Dyke-Lesbos is the favorite to be named the new Archbishop of the Universal Church of the Holy Vagina of the Diocese of San Francisco and AIDS Hospices.

Considering the choices, I find the last two to be most newsworthy and relevant. Why can’t Vickie’s wiener-storage unit simply become the new Bishop by virtue of Sodomite Succession? Isn’t he the equivalent of a Crown Prince in the Anglican Cult?

Oh wait. I understand Vickie is the “wife,” so his partner would be the “wiener-provider.” My bad.

Katherine
March 18, 2012

I am actually more concerned about who will be the next Coptic Pope. Pope Shenouda died yesterday. The new leader there will lead his people in a life and death situation.

Ed the Roman
March 18, 2012

Shenouda died? That is bad news.

Dale Matson
March 18, 2012

The Pilgrim,
“Michael Nazir Ali has the same chance to be ABC as mark Lawrence has of being Presiding Bishop” Talking about “chance” is like talking about luck. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Duane
March 18, 2012

how far the CoE has fallen from Runcie: “While recognising that a truly pluralistic society should not merely tolerate diversity but value and nurture it, I must also express the fear that at times we seem tempted to sacrifice too much of our native Christian tradition on the altar of multi-culturalism”

Randall Gough
March 18, 2012

Frankly it doesn’t matter. Here in Canada we have learned our lesson in politics. No matter how left or right the party, they will all move to the center to govern. The same is true for the ABC. Conservative or Liberal they will immediately move to the center to avoid an open civil war.
It is at times like this that I am glad I swam the tiber.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
March 18, 2012

For years (centuries even?) York was an automatic choice. But whatever happens, the only hope is that Her Highness makes her own choice. If she concedes to the government candidate you can expect more of the same or worse.

Bill (not IB)
March 18, 2012

It’s clear to me that there’s a larger plan here.

V.G. Robinson is retiring from his position in New Hampshire.

Then, ++Williams announces his retirement.

Coincidence? Not likely. It’s apparent to even the most casual observer that a deal has been struck to have Robinson become the new ABC. With his background of speechifying and liberal histrionics, Robinson is the perfect choice to guarantee that the downward slide of the CofE continues apace.

(and lest someone ask if I’m wearing my tin foil cap -)

/sarcasm off

jamesk
March 18, 2012

“…the only hope is that Her Highness makes her own choice”

I think you’re referring to Her Majesty the Queen.

She stopped being a Highness a while back.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
March 18, 2012

Yes, jamesk. Thank you for the correction, my apologies.

Stephen
March 18, 2012

So the main reason to avoid Sentamu is that he’s likely to express an actual opinion?

No, the main reason to avoid Sentamu is that he’s likely to express the wrong opinion.

Christopher Hathaway
March 18, 2012

“It needs a man – who can be fair to all points of view rather than imposing absolutes on difficult issues, and someone who can put their personal beliefs aside for the greater good.”

I saw the same sentence that Lavallette did but wasn’t taken by the anti-doctrinal position it attributed to an office usually noted for being a defender of church doctrine (after all, what church are we dealing with here?) but rather what bugged me was the grammatical insanity, which may be a symbol of the absens of logic that pervades our time.

I can understand, even if I find it wrong and cowardly, the misuse of the third person plural in uses of a singular individual of unknown or hypothetical nature for fear of offending the gods [demons] by using the masculine as generic. But when the subject is known to be male, and this has been explicitly stated as such, why, except for thoughtless rote stupidity, would one use “their” when the grammatically correct usage could be use without offending anyone? Is it now a rule that any variant of the gender neutral “one” must always be followed with the politically correct [grammatically incorrect] plural pronouns?

If you can get people to speak like idiots you can get them to think like them too.

RMBruton
March 18, 2012

My hope is that no one will be appointed and that the C of E be under the authority of a Synod. Cantrebury can simply have its own diocesan bishop. In the meantime HRH will assume the role of acting head, after all she has been the Defender for sixty years.

FW Ken
March 18, 2012

Even better would be an Anglican cleric surnamed Pope, if there are any.

http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=44340

bob
March 18, 2012

I nominate a peanut butter sandwich. Could not possibly do worse than Rowan, and actually has nutritional value.

Bill2
March 18, 2012

Yes, and what happened to “Empty Coke Bottle?”

@Stephen: I’d prefer Spong to Williams. At least with Spong you know where he stands (somewhere between Mars and Jupiter) and you can get on with your life. William’s “neither here nor there” act kept folks at the table for a while and forestalled an official breech, but did anything actually change?

Dale Matson
March 18, 2012

Bill2,
According to the Archbishop of Nigeria things got worse.
http://www.anglican-nig.org/main.php?k_j=12&d=594&p_t=index.php

dwstroudmd+
March 18, 2012

I’m offering “equally worthless and ineffectual” at 100 to 1, regardless of the chap’s name. Any takers? I’d be deleriously happy to pay if wrong.

Bill2
March 18, 2012

Yes Dale, I meant the trajectory of things, which was going in a “worse” direction. It kept TEo from giving another unrepentant homosexual a mitre for 6 years (maybe), but that was only a “We won’t do it until we do” moratorium. The outcomes were the same in the end. Rowan’s feckless leadership allowed him to be totally manipulated by KJS, making him her sock-puppet with a British accent.

Katherine
March 18, 2012

Ed the Roman, a public letter from (Anglican) Bishop Mouneer Anis says that hundred of thousands of Egyptians were in the streets of Cairo in mourning for Shenouda yesterday, the day after his death. They didn’t need a blow like this at a time like this.

Allen Lewis
March 18, 2012

@Katherine-
Shenouda’s death at this time is not a good thing, as you have wisely pointed out. I will put the Coptic Church in my prayers.

Allen Lewis
March 18, 2012

I don’t think it much matters who gets appointed. Rowan Williams has done so much damage, I don’t think the Communion can recover, even if it wants to.

Allen Lewis
March 18, 2012

From what ++Nigeria had to say, I think he would agree with me!

Geosez
March 19, 2012

Speaking for those of us who don’t match your stereotype, Mr. Janousek, I’ll say “Thank you sir. May I have another?”

Dale Matson
March 19, 2012

Don Janousek,
“Isn’t he the equivalent of a Crown Prince in the Anglican Cult?” Most of the time you are very funny. Sometimes you are downright disrespectful. Speaking as a Anglican, to essentially call 65 million Anglicans members of a cult is uncharitable.

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