There are no plans to divest the Archbishop of Canterbury of his pan-Anglican responsibilities and transfer them to a “presidential” leader of the Anglican Communion, the secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, has claimed.
In a statement released on 8 September 2012, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon said the claim put forward in an interview with Dr. Rowan Williams published earlier that day in the Daily Telegraph was untrue and “mischievous”.
In what was described as the final “major” interview of his archiepiscopate, the Telegraph quoted Dr. Williams as having conceded the job of archbishop could have been handled better by two men.
“Thinking back over things I don’t think I’ve got right over the last 10 years, I think it might have helped a lot if I’d gone sooner to the United States when things began to get difficult about the ordination of gay bishops, and engaged more directly with the American House of Bishops,” he told the Telegraph, adding, “I think the problem though, is that the demands of the communion, the administrative demands of the communion have grown, and are growing.”
“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.”
Dr. Williams believed his successors should still retain a “primacy of honour” and remain as “head” of the Anglican Communion but said there should be “less a sense that the Archbishop is expected to sort everything”.
Discussions were currently underway about reforming the structures of the worldwide Anglican Communion, he said, telling the Telegraph to “watch this space”.
Canon Kearon responded that he was unaware of the plans for change mentioned by Dr. Williams.
"There are no such plans,” Canon Kearon said. “The Archbishop of Canterbury simply said in the interview that he could see that in the future there might be some reflection on how the administrative load associated with the Anglican Communion might be better shared.”
"The Anglican Communion has several decision-making bodies, one of which is meeting in a few months' time. Nothing like what this newspaper has suggested is on the agenda,” for the forthcoming ACC meeting in New Zealand.