THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has dismissed a suggestion by the Archbishop of Uganda that his position as head of the worldwide Anglican Communion is a left-over from British colonialism.
Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said in an article published in The Times of London last week that the â€œspiritual leadership of a global communion should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government.â€
Orombi further said Williams was at the heart of the Anglican Communion but he had not been elected by his peers.
â€œWe have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well.â€
But in an interview with Ecumenical News International, Williams said, â€œArchbishop Orombi is not the first person who has used this language of colonial relics about the Canterbury relationship. I think it is a misunderstanding really.
â€œIt would be fair only if Canterbury governed. I do not govern the communion.â€
Archbishop Orombi was one of about 230 or so Anglican bishops who boycotted the July 16 to August 3 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops in protest at the presence of leaders of the US Episcopal Church, which in 2003 consecrated a gay cleric, Gene Robinson, as a bishop.
â€œI do not govern the Anglican Communion. I preside and I convene and there is a sense in which I have a hand in shaping the agenda,â€ said Williams.
He added that the issue of a gay man being consecrated as a bishop in the US means â€œvery littleâ€ to Africans living in far-flung parts of the continent.
Citing Zimbabwe, Williams said the overwhelming concern of most Africans was clean water, adequate food, employment and transparent governance.
Catholic Information Service
Canterbury hits back at Archbishop Orombi