In itself, the revelation comes as no surprise to either liberal or conservative camps within the Anglican church.
That's an interesting point. I mean, didn't everyone know he was friendly? So at some level, is this news at all? Perhaps what IS news that he phrased it so very positively.
The realization that Williams would prioritize unity over change came when he balked at appointing as bishop the openly gay priest Jeffrey John. In this, Williams aimed to assuage the protests of a number of more traditional bishops. In a painful meeting, Williams persuaded John to withdraw his candidacy - an act that many liberals in the church saw not only as a capitulation but also as a missed opportunity to plant a flag for his true convictions."Had he gone through with it," a gay vicar in Wales and a friend of Williams told TIME over 18 months ago, "We would not be where we're at. It would either have nailed the problem or it would have caused a split very quickly. He's delaying the inevitable."
The article really nails Williams for the conflict between his theological views and his willingness to ignore them.
...the logic of his position unravels when [Williams] notes that the church has "shifted its stance on several matters, notably the rightness of lending money at interest and the moral admissibility of contraception, so I am bound to ask if [homosexuality]is another such issue." Change can be slow, but it is never won by sitting on high, uncomfortable fences.
At some level, the fall is harder from here, isn't it? Because everyone is more entrenched and has more to lose. If he had just rolled through with it at the beginning, that is with Jeffrey John, do you suppose that it would have magnified to this extent? Would the rift have been quite so dramatic without all those years to prepare for it?