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Friday, November 17, 2006

No but theoretically maybe

What's to be done about Rowan Williams?

An interviewer asks him if the C 0f E might have a rethink on women priests. The correct and comprehensive answer: 'No'. Interviewer has another try. The correct answer: a polite variation on 'Which part of "No" didn't you understand?' The hopelessly wrong answer: a rambling excursus on 'No' which cries out to be misunderstood by eventually veering off into 'No but theoretically maybe'.

This is, it seems to me, a man with some serious people-pleasing issues. The interview was for the Catholic Herald (you can read it all here if you're quick), and he is off to Rome next week. Did he imagine that, having read his copy of the CH, the Pope would be nicer to him? If so his hope was in vain, since Benedetto is well-briefed and knows perfectly well what the score is in the C of E. There will be some tough talking to be done on this question, and hinting at an ambivalence which he then promptly has to disown will not have altered that one jot.

Try to please everyone and you please nobody. Can you imagine how this has played with the by now thousands of women whose boss RW is? He is a long way from being Frau Grumpy's favourite prelate right now, I can tell you.

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