Rowan Williams emerges as shock front-runner to be new Pope

ImageSources close to the Vatican have hinted at the surprise anointing of former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as the new Pope when Benedict XVI steps down at the end of the month. Following the shock announcement of Pope Benedict’s retirement, the first occasion a Pope has resigned in over 600 years, it was clear to outsiders that something of great significance was afoot in the See of Rome.

The key issue turns out to be one of ecumenism and practical interdenominational politics rather than theology. The appointment of Williams as Pope is seen by the Vatican as a way to build bridges towards greater Church unity, but not only with the Anglican Communion as might be assumed. As one Cardinal put it, “There is a great drive towards greater unity with the Orthodox Church, but the greatest stumbling block to progress has been that of facial hair. Basically, all the Orthodox and Coptic Metropolitans and Popes have lush beards and have teased our Popes for centuries that our Roman balls haven’t dropped yet and we can’t grow a decent beard between the lot of us. We’re sick of it, frankly, and since none of our Cardinals have decent beards, appointing known beardy Rowan Williams to exercise the Petrine ministry will get ecumenical dialogue on a more grown-up footing. And it will confuse the Ordinariate no end which amuses many of us here, too.”

Another known Anglican beardy, the blogger Archbishop Cranmer was unavailable for comment as he was turning too fast in his grave to type.

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5 thoughts on “Rowan Williams emerges as shock front-runner to be new Pope

  1. Pingback: And now for something lighter | virtuallentgroup

  2. Maybe a ‘Pope Williams’ could bring in marriage for priests and nuns an so help solve the abuse problem among the sexually frustrated fraternity, not cut out for celibacy. MEC.

    • I don’t think you mean nuns, Mike. It’s not possible to be a Religious without taking a vow of celibacy. The vows are Poverty, Chastity/Celibacy, and Obedience, unless you’re Benedictine, when they’re Obedience, Stability, and Conversion of Life. Stability includes Poverty and Chastity/Celibacy. The point of it for a Religious is that we’re wife (or husband) to none in order to be sister (or brother) to all.

      However I do think that the Roman Catholic church should look quite seriously at allowing priests to marry, and also its views on homosexuality, and also arrange for some form of counselling to be available to all its priests and deacons. Religious communities have spiritual directors and chaplains and other sorts of advisors, but individual priests often don’t have that support network, from what I’ve observed.

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