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Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams / “He and his eyebrows will be missed”

What we lost in 2012: Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams
Who took it: The Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, women, gays.

Read the article from Gawker

In his final broadcast before his departure, Dr Williams defends his outspoken attacks on successive governments, including his strong opposition to the Iraq war.

“Risking unpopularity, taking the flak, is what archbishops are here for – it is the stuff of the job,” he says. “It is something you realise the more you work here, that maybe Britain benefits from having someone to get angry with, and that compared to my predecessors I have got off lightly.”

In 2008 Dr Williams was widely criticised for suggesting that the adoption of some aspects of Islamic Sharia law in Britain “seems unavoidable”, although in an interview earlier this year he admitted he had “failed to find the right words” and “succeeded in confusing people”.

What ever shall we do now: Mourn in ashes and sackcloth. Where will we find the equal of a man who once said “it is very easy to be despondent about the church” while leading that very church? After trying and failing one last time to broker an agreement on the status of female bishops, Williams had this to say at the end of his tenure: “I know that I’ve, at various points, disappointed both conservatives and liberals…Most of them are quite willing to say so, quite loudly.

That’s just been a background to almost everything, a pretty steady ‘mood music’.” No pope, no imam, no goateed megachurchian can ever hope to match Rowan’s delightfully depressive approach. He and his eyebrows will be missed.

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