New Directions interviewed the
Archbishop of Wales at a recent Press Conference.
New DIRECTIONS: The Welsh
Church seems to be changing direction under your leadership, Archbishop. You
have discontinued the role of PAB, or Provincial Assistant Bishop, and said that
you would have no personal problem in ordaining to the episcopate someone in a
same-sex relationship. These are radical steps for a small province.
Archbishop: I don't know about
that! Yes, Wales is a small province — about the size of the Diocese of Oxford
as a matter of fact. But it is a full constituent province of the Anglican
Communion with all the powers that accrue. I — we — do not intend to carry
on as the poor relation of the Church of England. What is the point of having
autonomy if you don't use it?
ND: The provision of the PAB
was brokered by the present Archbishop of Canterbury. Would you care to comment
ABW: Rowan is his own man and
so am I. Yes, I suppose it is one in the eye for him. But we have to do
things not out of respect for someone else, but the interests of the Church in
Wales. I suppose Credo Cymru will now appeal the Archbishop of Canterbury's
Panel of Reference. And, yes, that will put Rowan on the spot even further.
ND: You have said that you
would have no difficulty in ordaining to the episcopate a man with a same-sex
partner. Is Wales really ready for that?
ABW: It isn't a matter of what
Wales is ready for but of what is right and just. The inclusive agenda must be
pushed forward, and one way of doing so, throughout the Anglican Communion, is
to put this dithering Archbishop of Canterbury under a bit of pressure. We won't
break the moratorium, of course (which means that there is no chance of Bangor,
but then there never was). But someone in North America will do it. Then we
can go ahead with a clear conscience. Expect a gay friend of Rowan (and
there is more than one, remember) in a Welsh See before you can call say iechyd
ND: Thank you, Archbishop.
You have put things very clearly indeed.
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