Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greece in the Late Roman Period

Greece in the Late Roman Period
By Maria Louise van Kleef
Master’s Thesis, University of Leiden, 2010
Abstract: This thesis is on Greece in Late Antiquity. There is much attention for Roman Greece, but mostly, this attention goes to the periods of the Late Republic and the Early Empire. The period of Late Roman Greece is less discussed. This thesis gives an overview on the historical background of the Late Roman period, it gives an overview of the archeaological data that have been found for all Roman periods in four major Greek cities Argos, Athens, Thessaloniki and Corinth and an overview of the most well-known surveys in Greece. By combining all these information this thesis decribes the situation of Late Roman Greece. What effects had the events in the Late Roman Empire on the people living in the Greek cities? And what on the people living in the countryside? What effects had the situation in the Greek cities on the countryside, and vice versa?
Excerpt: From their incorporation into the Roman Empire, the Greek mainland and the Peloponnese played an important role in many respects. Macedonia and southern Greece were combined in a senatorial province until in 27 BC Augustus separated the province Achaea from Macedonia. Both remained senatorial provinces, although some poleis, like Athens and Sparta, maintained a partial independence and avoided taxation. The Greeks were not always very pleased with their Roman rulers. In 88 BC Mithridates of Pontus started a campaign against Rome and he won the support of many Greek poleis. Mithridates was driven out of Greece by the legions of Sulla, the revolt was suppressed and the rebel poleis were plundered. Especially Athens and Thebes were severely punished. Sulla took with him many works of arts from Greece to Rome.
The Roman emperors were generally philhellenic and they contributed many new buildings to the Greek cities. Also other prominent Romans and Roman colonists adorned the cities with their building activity. The Greek art and culture influenced the Roman: authors like Virgil were inspired by the Greek epics of Homer, works of art were taken from Greece to Rome, where they were copied by Roman artisans, many Roman elites spoke Greek.

(DOJ Watch): Univista "Bombshell" Report re: "Fast & Furious"

Attorney General Eric Holder

Video: Preview of Univision’s “bombshell” report on Fast & Furious


posted at 5:31 pm on September 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration clearly hoped that the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report on Operation Fast and Furious would be the last word on the scandal. which has been tied to hundreds of deaths in Mexico and the murders of two American law-enforcement officials. However, a new report from Univision to be broadcast tomorrow, previewed here by ABC News, may put the issue back on the front pages. One source called Univision’s findings the “holy grail” that Congressional investigators have been seeking:


Often lost amid the rancor in Washington are the stories of dozens of people killed by guns that flowed south as part of the undercover operation, and later slipped out of view from U.S. officials. Univision’s Investigative Unit (Univision Investiga) has identified massacres committed using guns from the ATF operation, including the killing of 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.
The guns didn’t stop in Mexico, either:
Additional guns, previously unreported by congressional investigators, found their way into the hands of drug traffickers across Latin America in countries such as, Honduras and Colombia, as well as the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings “the holy grail” that Congress had been searching for.
The Daily Caller also reports on Univision’s findings and the impact they may have on the scandal:
“The consequences of the controversial ‘Fast and Furious’ undercover operation put in place by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2009 have been deadlier than what has been made public to date,” the network said. “The exclusive, in-depth investigation by Univision News’ award-winning Investigative Unit — Univision Investiga — has found that the guns that crossed the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious caused dozens of deaths inside Mexico.”

Among other groups of Fast and Furious victim stories Univision says it will tell in the special to air Sunday evening at 7 p.m., is one about how “16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010″ were gunned down with weapons the Obama administration gave to drug cartel criminals through Fast and Furious.

“Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico,” the network added. “Furthermore, some of these guns — none of which were reported by congressional investigators — were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”
Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News reminds us that the Obama administration is still hiding Kevin O’Reilly, a key figure in Operation Fast and Furious:
O’Reilly, then a White House National Security staffer, had phone and email exchanges about Fast and Furious from July 2010 to Feb. 2011 with the lead ATF official on the case: ATF Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell. Just days after Newell testified to Congress on July 26, 2011 that he’d shared information with O’Reilly, whom he described as a long time friend, O’Reilly was transferred to Iraq and not available for questioning. Thereafter, he declined interviews with congressional investigators and the IG.

In a letter sent to O’Reilly’s attorney Thursday, Issa and Grassley state that O’Reilly’s “sudden transfer” to Iraq took him out of pocket in their investigation, and placed him in a position that had already been given to somebody else, raising “serious questions about O’Reilly’s assignment in Baghdad (and) the motivation for his transfer there.” …

“Given that O’Reilly was the link connecting the White House to the scandal, and that the President subsequently asserted executive privilege over the documents pertaining to Fast and Furious, it is imperative that the American people get to the bottom of O’Reilly’s involvement with Fast and Furious,” says the letter to O’Reilly’s attorney.
It goes on to say that if O’Reilly does not agree to an interview within 30 days, congressional Republicans will have no choice but to “use compulsory process” or subpoena power to require his testimony.
The Univision report will air at 7 pm ET tomorrow night, with English-language subtitles.

30 Sep 12--Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen Reports™

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen Reports™

Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows President Obama attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns the vote from 46%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided. See daily tracking history.
Four years ago today, Rasmussen Reports tracking showed Obama leading John McCain by a 51% to 45% margin. The numbers barely budged for the rest of the campaign season as Obama enjoyed a comfortable lead and stayed between 50% and 52% every day for the last 40 days.

When “leaners” are included, it’s now Obama 49%, Romney 47%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question. Today is the last day that results will be reported without leaners. Beginning tomorrow, Rasmussen Reports will be basing its daily public updates solely upon the results including leaners. Platinum Members will be still be able to see the more detailed numbers along with demographic breakdowns, and additional information from the tracking poll on a daily basis.

Currently, 43% of voters are “certain” they will vote for Romney. Forty-two percent (42%) are that certain they will vote for Obama. The remaining 15% are either uncommitted or open to changing their mind. To many Americans, especially partisan activists, it is hard to imagine how someone could be anything but certain at this point in time. One of the distinguishing features of these potentially persuadable voters is that they don’t see the choice between Romney and Obama as terribly significant. In terms of impacting their own life, just 28% say it will be Very Important which man wins.

There is particular pessimism among these persuadable voters about the economy. Only 14% think it will get better if the president is reelected. But just 28% believe it will improve with a Romney victory.

Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Today is your last chance to save $10 on a Rasmussen Reader subscription. For just $24.95 a year—less than 50 cents a week--subscribers get daily swing state updates and access to more than 20 exclusive stories every week. Sign up today.

Obama has a one- or two-point lead in each of the Key Three States in this year’s election, Ohio, Florida and Virginia. All three states remain Toss-Ups in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. State polling shows Democrats are now expected to retain control of the Senate. The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power projections show the Democrats likely to win or hold 48 seats, while the GOP can probably count on 45. That leaves seven toss-ups. Republicans would need to win six of the seven to win control (or five of the seven if Romney wins and Vice President Paul Ryan can cast a tie-breaking vote).

What America Thinks, Scott Rasmussen’s new nationally syndicated TV show, can be seen on more than 60 stations nationwide. In New York, it can be seen Sunday morning at 10:30 on WLNY. Find a station near you. If you’d like Scott Rasmussen to speak to your organization, meeting or conference, please contact Premiere Speakers.

Check out our review of last week’s key polls to see “What They Told Us.”

(Presidential Job Approval Data Below)
A president’s job approval rating is one of the best indicators for assessing his chances of reelection. Typically, the president’s job approval rating on Election Day will be close to the share of the vote he receives. Currently, 50% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) at least somewhat disapprove (see trends).

Scott Rasmussen’s weekly newspaper column shows that the debates are not likely to change the presidential race much, although even a small change could be decisive. An earlier column suggested that, regardless of the outcome, Romney is likely to be the last stand for the Republican establishment.
More voters trust Romney than Obama on the economy. The candidates are now even on national security, and the president has the edge on energy policy. It’s a toss-up on taxes and health care. There is, overall, little optimism. Just 43% believe a victory for Romney and the Republicans would lead to a stronger economy next year. Thirty-four percent (34%) believe that would happen with an Obama victory and Democratic control of Congress.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company whose work is followed by millions on a wide variety of platforms. In addition to the new TV show, we regularly release our work at, through a daily email newsletter, a nationally syndicated radio news service, an online video service and a weekly newspaper column distributed by Creators Syndicate.

To get a sense of longer-term Job Approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.
(Approval Index data below)
Intensity of support or opposition can have an impact on campaigns. Currently, 28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14 (see trends).
During midterm elections, intensity of support can have a tremendous impact on turnout. That was demonstrated in 2010 when Republicans and unaffiliated voters turned out in large numbers to express opposition to the Obama administration’s policies. However, in presidential election years, there is a smaller impact on turnout.
(More below)

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology). Pollsters for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have cited our "unchallenged record for both integrity and accuracy." During Election 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected that Barack Obama would defeat John McCain by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama was 53% to 46%. In 2004, Rasmussen Reports was the only firm to project the vote totals for both candidates within half a percentage point. Learn more about the Rasmussen Reports track record over the years.

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

(Jihad Watch): Children Killed in Kenya Church Attack

Children killed in Kenya church attack
At least two children killed and two others wounded in Nairobi after suspected grenade attack on church.
 30 Sep 2012 15:06
Attack comes days after Kenyan troops launched an offensive on the southern Somali port of Kismayo [Reuters]
At least two children have been killed and two others wounded when a hand grenade was allegedly thrown into a church in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, police officials say.

Moses Nyakwama, the city's police chief, confirmed the injuries in the attack on Sunday.

He said that police suspected the cause of the explosion was a grenade.
Charles Owino, a deputy police spokesman, said that the attack at St Polycarp's church occurred on Juja Road, in the eastern part of the city.
The grenade exploded, spraying the children with shrapnel.

Blood-stained children's jackets and shoes lay scattered on the floor, surrounded by remnants of metal walls that were broken and twisted by the force of the explosion.

"The children who attend this service are aged between six and 10... we usually divide them according to their ages," said Livingstone Muiruri. "They had just started the morning session when the explosion occurred."

"We were in the main church so we all ran there to assist the kids," he said.
Janet Wanja was just entering the church when the blast shook the building.
"I heard a loud explosion and then heard kids screaming," she said. "I am traumatised by what I saw, kids with injuries and blood all over. "Why are they attacking the church?"

Al-Shabab suspected

"We suspect this blast might have been carried out by sympathisers of al-Shabab," said Owino. "These are the kicks of a dying horse since, of late, Kenyan police have arrested several suspects in connection with grenades."
Police were also investigating the possibility that the blast was a result of a bomb that had been placed in the building earlier, Wilfred Mbithi, another senior police official, told AFP.

Following the attack, dozens of angry young men targeted people of Somali appearance and their homes in the area. Police units were deployed to keep the angry mob from causing damage.

The attack on the church came days after Kenyan troops launched an offensive on the southern Somali port of Kismayo, the last stronghold of the al-Shabaab, forcing the fighters to flee.

Masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade raids on two churches in the northern town of Garissa in July, killing at least 17 people.
Kenya has suffered a series of grenade attacks since it sent troops across the border last October in pursuit of al-Shabab fighters who it blamed for kidnapping its security personnel and Western tourists.

P8 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P7 of 19 - The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P6 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P5 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P4 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

Abortion | Obama | Planned Parenthood

Barack Obama: Abortion Radical

P3 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P2 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

P1 of 19- The Real Jeremiah Wright Up Close and Personal

Jeremiah Wright's outrageous sermons from ABC News

Trinity UCC and Rev. Michael Pfleger's racist outburst

Obama on Fox about Jeremiah Wright, Trinity UCC

Jeremiah Wright on Fox

Rev. Wright answering questions (3 of 3)

Reverend Jeremiah Wright smugly answering pre-screened written questions from the audience and press at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in response to national criticism and formal distancing of presidential candidate Obama. The nation of Islam provided security. Aired on National Television: 4/28/08 9:47AM.

13. Former President Bill Clinton has been widely critical in this campaign. Many African Americans think he has said things aimed at defining Senator Obama as the black candidate. What do you think of President Clinton's comments, especially before the South Carolina Primary?

14. Please explain how the black church and the white church can reconcile.

15. You said there is a lack of understand by people of other backgrounds than African American Church. What are some of those misunderstands and how would you report to fix them, when particularly when some of them are found to be offensive by white churches.

16. Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comeith to the father but though me. Do you believe this, and do you believe Islam is a way of salvation?

17. Do you think people of other races would feel welcomed at your church?

18. You first gained significant media attention for your sermons several weeks ago, why did you wait so long before giving the public your side of the sound bit story?

19. Do you think it is God's will Senator Obama be President?

20. Is Rev. Wright a 75 year old angry black man, are all 75 year-old black men angry. Is that funny, is that true, what do you think?

Rev. Wright answering questions (2 of 3)

Reverend Jeremiah Wright smugly answering pre-screened written questions from the audience and press at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in response to national criticism and formal distancing of presidential candidate Obama. Aired on National Television: 4/28/08 9:38AM.

6. In light of your wide quoted comments damning America, do you think you owe the American people an apology, if not do you still belief America is damned in the eyes of God.

7. Senator Obama has been in your congregation for over 20 years yet you were not invited to his announcement to his national candidacy in Illinois, and in the most recent presidential debate in Pennsylvania he said he had denounced you. Are you disappointed Senator Obama has choice to walk away from you?

8. You just mentioned that Senator Obama hadn't heard many of your sermons; does that mean he is not much of a church goer, or does he dowses off in the pews?

9. In your sermon you said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus and used it as a means of genocide against colored people. So I ask you, do you honestly believe your statements and words.

10. You have likened Israeli's policies to apartheid and its treatment of Palestinian with Native Americans. Can you explain your views on Israel?

11. In your understanding of Christianity, does God love the white racist the same why he loves the oppressed Black American?

12. Can you elaborate on the comparison of the Roman soldiers who killed Jesus, to the US Marine corp. Do you still believe that is an appropriate comparison and why?

Rev. "God Damn America" Wright answering questions (1 of 3)

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Racist Rant: Allah and Yahweh Are the Same

Obama's Real History - The "Lost" Years

Obama's Real History; part 2. Details of the "lost years" of Obama. This is some of the best information yet on the college years Obama refuses to talk about. Obama and hiss press agents have done their best to cover it up and conceal records from this time. It is noteworthy that it is during these years that he probably worked closely with Khalid Al Mansour. He may also have had his first contact with Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers at this time, since they are working / hiding in the San Francisco Bay area for some of these years.

Dreams From My Real Father: The Intimate Ann Dunham - Frank Marshall Dav...

Racy photos of Barack Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, have recently surfaced in vintage fetish and bondage magazines. The photos, taken at Frank Marshall Davis' house in Honolulu, appeared in Bizarre Life, Exotique, Secret Pleasures, and Battling Babes. They help illustrate the intimate relationship between Dunham and Davis. "My father was from Kenya, he grew up herding goats," Barack Obama told the cheering crowds. Did Obama build his political career upon a fairy tale? Was Obama misdirecting Americans away from a deeply disturbing family background and a Marxist political foundation?

Obama's version of his early childhood is false -- the family did not split up when the Kenyan Obama went to Harvard as he claimed. In fact, Ann Dunham, took "Barry" to Seattle a few weeks after his birth, in late August 1961, and began studies at the University of Washington, while the Kenyan remained in Hawaii. All evidence points to a "sham" marriage to cover up an illicit affair. Barack Obama began regular visits to Frank Marshall Davis' house at the age of 10, and Obama refers to Frank Marshall Davis throughout his autobiography as his childhood "mentor." Dreams from My Real Father makes the case that the Communist Party USA propagandist was both Obama's biological and ideological father, and likely indoctrinated Obama in Marxism during his formative years. To learn about more the true origins of Obama's life and politics, purchase the DVD at:

Dreams from My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception

Dreams from My Real Father

A Story of Reds and Deception

At age 18, Barack Obama admittedly arrived at Occidental College a committed revolutionary Marxist. What was the source of Obama's foundation in Marxism? Throughout his 2008 Presidential campaign and term in office, questions have been raised regarding Barack Obama's family background, economic philosophy, and fundamental political ideology. Dreams from My Real Father is the alternative Barack Obama "autobiography," offering a divergent theory of what may have shaped our 44th President's life and politics.

In Dreams from My Real Father, Barack Obama is portrayed by a voiceover actor who chronicles Barack Obama's life journey in socialism, from birth through his election to the Presidency. The film begins by presenting the case that Barack Obama's real father was Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party USA propagandist who likely shaped Obama's world view during his formative years. Barack Obama sold himself to America as the multi-cultural ideal, a man who stood above politics. Was the goat herding Kenyan father only a fairy tale to obscure a Marxist agenda, irreconcilable with American values?

This fascinating narrative is based in part on 2 years of research, interviews, newly unearthed footage and photos, and the writings of Davis and Obama himself. Dreams from My Real Father weaves together the proven facts with reasoned logic in an attempt to fill-in the obvious gaps in Obama's history. Is this the story Barack Obama should have told, revealing his true agenda for "fundamentally transforming America?" Director Joel Gilbert concludes, "To understand Obama’s plans for America, the question is ’Who is the real father?’"

Profile of 104th Archbishop of Canterbury: Dr Rowan Williams

Profile: Dr Rowan Williams

Dr Rowan Williams Dr Williams will be Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, from January

Related Stories

Rowan Williams, who is spending his final months as Archbishop of Canterbury, is the 104th person have served in that role.

His retirement marks the end of more than 20 years as a bishop and archbishop.

Dr Williams will leave his post at the end of December in time to start a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, in January.

His departure comes amid growing tensions within the Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexuality.

Under his stewardship, the Church of England has come close to splitting over the ordination of gay clergy.

Further controversy is expected as the Church prepares to approve the final introduction of women bishops in November.

Widely commended

But Dr Williams will also be remembered as a peacemaker who used his time in office to make an impact across the world.

His visit to Zimbabwe in October 2011 was widely commended after he openly criticised the human rights abuses of President Robert Mugabe's regime.

He has also been praised for his ability to engage publicly on difficult matters of religion, particularly with the atheist author Richard Dawkins.

The Archbishop has also been pivotal to national events, including the Royal Wedding at which he married the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in 2011.

In the past Dr Williams has attracted criticism for straying outside of the religious arena. His opposition to the Iraq war, his call for reparations for the slave trade and his stance on the environment have raised eyebrows among the political establishment.

In 2008 he provoked an outcry after saying the application of sharia law in England under certain circumstances was unavoidable.

He also said the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden while unarmed had left "a very uncomfortable feeling".

Dr Williams also spoke out against the coalition government, saying it was committing Britain to "radical, long-term policies for which no-one voted".

Excelled at school

He is the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and was confirmed at St Paul's Cathedral in London on 2 December 2002.

As Archbishop of Canterbury he is leader of 77 million Anglicans worldwide.

He is the first Welshman for at least a millennium to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury and is a fluent Welsh speaker.

He was born in 1950 in Swansea, where his father was a mining engineer.

Young Rowan Williams excelled at school in every subject except one - he had a permanent note excusing him from sport.

He was keen on drama and starred in many productions at Dynevor Grammar School and later at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he studied theology.

Dr Rowan Williams conducted the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton It is within the Anglican Church that his views have stirred the greatest controversy.

He went to Oxford for his doctorate and lectured at Mirfield Theological College in Leeds before returning to Cambridge and Oxford where he was fast gaining a reputation as a formidable theologian.

In 1979 Dr Williams published his first book and at the age of 36 he became Oxford University's youngest professor.

From 1991 to 1999 he served as Bishop of Monmouth, before becoming Archbishop of Wales.

A clue to his outspoken nature came at his enthronement ceremony in February 2003, when he used his sermon to urge Christians to engage the world of politics.

Since then he has made clear his views on a range of issues. But it is within the Anglican Church that his views have stirred the greatest controversy.

Gay clergy

Dr Williams has consistently supported the ordination of women and in 2005 backed moves to allow women to serve as bishops, to the consternation of conservative Anglicans.

Hundreds of disillusioned Anglicans are now joining a special section of the Catholic Church - the Ordinariate - which has been created specifically for them by Pope Benedict XVI in protest at the decision to ordain women as bishops.

But it is, above all, the issue of gay clergy which has caused the archbishop his biggest headache.

Dr Williams with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009 Dr Williams met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009

June 2003 saw the appointment of an openly gay bishop in Reading, Jeffrey John.

Initially Dr Williams raised no objections to the appointment, raising hackles among conservative church leaders in the UK and abroad.

As the row escalated, Jeffrey John withdrew from the post.

Two months later the rank and file of the Anglican Church in the United States voted to elect an openly gay bishop, Reverend Canon Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

One African archbishop responded by saying: "The devil has entered our Church."

Try as he might Dr Williams failed to get traditionalist church leaders - mainly in Africa - to reconcile their differences with the liberal wing of the church in North America.

The issue has threatened to cause a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Unique position

In 2007 Dr Williams walked into another storm when he suggested the nativity could have been "a legend".

Dr Rowan Williams
Listen to BBC Radio 4's Profile of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

The Catholic and Anglican churches feel that they must stand together against the threat of secularism and that they are stronger in cooperation than they would be divided.

Yet, despite a number of meetings with the Pope, Dr Williams has failed to reach any sort of meaningful rapprochement with the Roman Catholic church.

In April last year he was forced to apologise after saying the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost all credibility after the child abuse scandal.

His major problem rests with his unique position.

The broad nature of the Church, which includes Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals and liberals, means it is almost impossible for it to achieve unity on many controversial matters.

But unlike the Pope, he has no power to force any of his 38 archbishops to submit to his will.

In September 2012, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said he had not done enough to stop a split over homosexual priests and said he felt he had "disappointed" both liberals and conservatives.

He also suggested the workload of the Archbishop of Canterbury was now too much for one man.

"I suspect it will be necessary, in the next 10 to 15 years, to think about how that load is spread; to think whether in addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury there needs to be some more presidential figure who can travel more readily," he told the Telegraph.

The lot of an Archbishop of Canterbury has never been an easy one.

Thomas a Becket was murdered. Others, most notably Thomas Cranmer, have met their end courtesy of the executioner.

Throughout history, archbishops have been used as political pawns by monarchs, ridiculed as meddlesome priests by politicians and scoffed at as wishy-washy liberals by the media.

It is too early for history to judge Dr Williams but his outspoken views have ensured his departure will be greeted with a mixture of sadness and glee.

Dr Rowan Williams: Poll finds 53% consider him 'good leader'

Dr Rowan Williams: Poll finds 53% consider him 'good leader'


Dr Rowan Williams Dr Williams has held the post of Archbishop of Canterbury for 10 years

Related Stories

More than half of the people who took part in an opinion poll for the BBC believe the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been a good leader of the Church.

But more than a quarter of those polled for BBC Local Radio by the pollsters COMRES think he has not helped keep the Church of England relevant in Britain.

The next Archbishop of Canterbury could be chosen later as the Crown Nominations Commission meets to discuss the candidates.

The commission will put forward its choice for approval by the Prime Minister and then the Queen.

The survey of 2,594 adults in England was carried out by phone from 24 August to 9 September.

The poll found 53% of people agreed that Dr Williams had been a good leader and 55% think he has been clear in telling people what he believes and why.

During Dr Williams's 10 years in the post, the Church has seen major upheavals over issues such as whether to create women bishops. It has also voiced its opposition to the government's gay marriage laws while Dr Williams's comments on issues like Sharia and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have often come under attack in the media.

'Great fan'

"I'm a great fan," said Anne Waizenaker, the vicar of St Nicolas Church, in Shoreham-by-Sea, in West Sussex, where a group of mostly elderly parishioners have gathered for a traditional, mid-week communion service.

"He's a great theologian, a man of great depth and I think for me he's been a great leader of the Church, I hope history will judge him kindly."

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu Dr Sentamu is a popular choice with the conservative wing

"He's been a leader in a very difficult situation," said retired priest Father Tom Winter. "The ordination of women, the consecration of women as bishops, the problem of homosexuals being ordained or not ordained. These are issues which he has not fundamentally got to grips with.

"But he stays true to what he believes and he does it in a very gentle, loving way. That for me is true leadership."

Paul Handley, the editor of the Independent Church Times newspaper and a seasoned Rowan watcher, said: "For the last few Archbishops there have been some rows brewing and quite a lot of them have come to a head in his time.

Start Quote

I think in standing back and trying to achieve balance, he's lost any direction or authority over people”
End Quote Clive Newton Worshipper

"He hasn't really been able to set an agenda of his own. He's attempted to make more of the pluralism side of our community and got slapped down for an aspect of that.

"But if you talk to religious leaders across the board, they all think of him as somebody who's opened the establishment to different views and different religions."

But a quarter of people told the BBC poll the current Archbishop has not made the Church relevant to modern Britain.

And at the more modern, Evangelical end of the Anglican Church, some people believe he could have done better as leader of the Church.

Even though it is only a short distance from St Nicolas in Shoreham, St Peter's Church, in Brighton, is a lively evangelical Church with a modern style of worship and a growing congregation of more than 600 people.

Clear message

Worshipper Clive Newton said: "I think in standing back and trying to achieve balance, he's lost any direction or authority over people."

Electing a new Archbishop

  • Two names will be presented to the Prime Minister by the CNC. A preferred choice and a second suitable choice.
  • He will then counsel the Queen, who as Supreme Governor of the Church of England will decide who will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Once the Queen has approved the chosen candidate and he has indicated a willingness to serve, 10 Downing St will announce the name of the Archbishop-designate.
  • The College of Canons of Canterbury Cathedral will then formally elect the new Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • The election is confirmed by a commission of diocesan bishops in a legal ceremony (the Confirmation of Election), which confers the office of Archbishop on him.
  • After paying homage to the Queen the new Archbishop is formally enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral.

Rohip Nathaniel, also part of the congregation agreed, he said: "I think he's had a very tough time to be honest because he's been trying to please many people all of the time and I think that's been a problem. I would have preferred him to take a solid stance and stick to his guns."

Both men would like to see the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who is popular with the conservative and evangelical wing, succeed Dr Williams.

The Reverend George Pitcher, who was the Archbishop's press secretary for a year, said that on the contrary, Rowan Williams has always been clear in the message he has sent out.

He said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury never says anything he doesn't mean, hasn't thought through and doesn't feel that the time is right for saying.

"He never speaks off the cuff. When he's said something which has upset politicians or some quarters of the media, I've never seen him or heard of him regretting it.

"It needed saying in his view and has been said, and it's given people permission to hold that view."

The next Archbishop will not find the job any easier. The Church of England has yet to make its final decision on consecrating women as Bishops and has expressed its opposition to the impending laws introducing gay marriage.

In addition, many parts of the worldwide Anglican Church - especially in parts of Africa - are still unhappy with the leadership from London.

(BBC) Candidates for 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury: Runners and riders

Who will succeed Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury? The Crown Nominations Commission is meeting to decide who will take his place, and at the end of its deliberations the 19-strong committee - which includes bishops, priests and lay people - will give the prime minister the name of its preferred candidate and a second choice. Here are some of the contenders to lead the Church of England.

John Sentamu Richard Chartres Justin Welby Christopher Cocksworth Graham James
Archbishop of York
John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Bishop of London
Richard Chartres, Bishop of London
Bishop of Durham
Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham
Bishop of Coventry
Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry
Bishop of Norwich
Graham James, Bishop of Norwich
  • Born 1949, Kampala, Uganda
  • Fled Idi Amin's regime to UK in 1974, studied theology at Cambridge
  • Second most senior cleric in Church of England
  • Married with two children and two foster children
  • Sun columnist
  • Born 1947, Hertfordshire
  • Took over St Paul's Cathedral after top clerics resigned during Occupy protest of 2011
  • Married with four children
  • Friends with Prince Charles, gave sermon when Prince William and Catherine wed
  • Born 1956, London
  • 11 years in oil industry before studying theology
  • Ordained 1992
  • On parliamentary committee looking into UK banking standards
  • Married with five children
  • Born 1959, West Sussex
  • Youngest serving diocesan bishop in Church of England
  • Spent five days cycling around the diocese - a "pilgrimage on wheels"
  • Married with five sons
  • Born 1951, Devon
  • Chaplain to Archbishop of Canterbury 1987-93
  • Appointed Lord Spiritual in 2004 and sits in House of Lords
  • Married with two children
  • Interests include amateur dramatics and cricket

In his own words

"The Church has always stood out - Jesus actually was the odd man out. I'd rather stick with Jesus than be popular because it looks odd." "We are our brother's keepers - we're responsible for one another. Living in our own hermetically sealed bubble is not good enough." "Each of us and all of us together need to care more about personal and general morality. Our culture has for years been saying 'You do what's right for you, and we'll all get on fine' - but we don't." "What is attractive about the Church of England is that we don't try to cover up our differences, but we do try to work through them." "The Church is relevant when it's meeting people's needs. There's no doubt that it's relevant to people's lives through service. What is much more difficult is to help people see that this service derives from our love of God, as well as our fellow human beings."

Stance on equal marriage

"Marriage must remain a union between a woman and a man," he has said.
But he supports civil partnerships.
Rejects calls for civil partnerships in churches.
For clergy, the "two possibilities" available are "lifelong heterosexual marriage and the single state. I am upholding the official teaching of the Church but will not start witch hunts."
He defended the Church's outright opposition to government moves to allow same-sex couples to get married. On controversial issues for the Church, he has yet to fully set out his stall.
"Generally, I see Christians wanting to sort it out," he has said. "And as long as people are wanting to sort it out, they are on the road to reconciliation."
Claims gay marriage would create "a whole host of new minorities in society".
He supports civil partnerships.

And on ordaining women

Proposed female bishop could have full authority in her diocese but "in practice refrain from exercising" certain functions in a parish which objected to her. Has refused to ordain women.
"I think the step [to have women bishops] is one which will have to be taken with enormous care bearing in mind the reverberations ecumenically."
"I'm strongly in favour of women as bishops. What we're struggling with is how you make the change and ensure that women have the full authority as bishops without making it impossible for those who have real conscientious objections." When asked about this by the Daily Telegraph, he replied: "Argument is not a bad thing; a deep anger that causes you to want nothing to do with the other is a bad thing." Firmly in favour of women priests, and believes it is therefore impossible to mount any theological argument against women bishops.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott's view

Some Anglicans look at the scale of the task facing the next archbishop and conclude that a personality as big as John Sentamu's is needed, not least to defend traditional Christian teaching.
But others don't believe his personal style - as exemplified by his cutting up of a clerical collar live on BBC television - belongs in Canterbury.
With his gravitas, experience and sense of occasion, Richard Chartres seems an obvious fit for the role of archbishop. He would make a credible caretaker leader for the Church.
However, his age and failure to ordain a woman priest are likely to count against him.
In a choice focused so much on the failings of potential candidates, people struggle to find anything worse to say about Justin Welby than that his father introduced President Kennedy to his first mistress.
The dark horse of the contest, he does lack experience on Church leadership - he wasn't even a bishop a year ago - but his impressive record in the "real" world of business and finance might appeal.
Conservative and mainstream evangelicals initially promoted him as an alternative to John Sentamu, positioning him as the intellectual evangelical whom liberals also like. Some of that lobbying has dissipated, but Bishop Cocksworth, although young at 53, might be considered well-placed to heal divisions in the Church of England and the wider Communion. Graham James has a long record of competent management in the Church, and has been willing to confront the government about its gay marriage proposals and welfare cuts. His experience would make him the ultimate "safe choice", but he is also seen as lacking charisma and the capacity for inspirational leadership, so his best hope might be as a compromise candidate.

Other contenders include the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens; the Bishop of Bradford, Nick Baines; James Jones, who is the Bishop of Liverpool; and John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester.

Compiled by Mick Robson and Megan Lane