Archbishop Williams speaks clearly this time

As the Pope’s personal preacher plunges his master into deeper hot water by comparing him to Holocaust victims, the Archbishop of Canterbury declares the Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility.”

Commenting for the first time on the crisis gripping the Catholic Church, Dr Williams said that the paedophile priest scandal had been a “colossal trauma” for Ireland in particular.
“I was speaking to an Irish friend recently who was saying that it’s quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar now,” he told Andrew Marr for the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week, to be broadcast on Monday. “And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility — that’s not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland.”
Regarding Anglicans who seek to take up the Pope’s offer to help them convert, he pointedly refused to give them his blessing.

Adds In the same discussion Rowan offers more praise for the atheist writer Phillip Pulman than he does for the Pope.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • Michaelhenry

    when is the archbishop of canterbury going to make a statmeant about the royal familys anti catholic law.

  • joeCanuck

    You are nothing if not persistent in trying to divert the discussion away from the subject that makes you uncomfortable. What is really bothering you, Michael?

  • Michaelhenry

    that the royal family are anti catholic joecanuch,why whats bothering you.

  • Alias

    “The passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of antisemitism.”

    Amazing! That is so wrong on so many levels.

    It was the Catholic Church that put the ‘blood libel’ on Jews, making them collectively responsible for the actions of a Roman procurator, and it was that Church which actively promoted anti-Semitism and then stood back from the consequences of its own engineering. It is also the Catholic Church which imposes a collective guilt on Christians, making them collectively responsible for the actions of Adam and Eve. Now, when it serves its purpose, it suddenly decides that it doesn’t like the concept of collective guilt after all.

    Well, too bad. The Church is responsible for covering up the activities of its paedophiles since it is responsible for its policies, and its failures are systemic failures which cannot be blamed on individual abusers. It wasn’t individual abusers that concocted the bullshit that the Church could cure their paedophilia and send them to other parishes where they could continue to abuse children – surprisingly uncured of their paedophilia. It wasn’t individual abusers that persuaded parents of abused children to sign oaths of secrecy. That was the Church’s doing. It is evident that the Church has not accepted its responsibility for practices that have destroyed tens of thousands of young lives.

    Lastly, it’s cute that he claims to be quoting a Jewish person, as if such ignorance even from a Jewish person would mitigate the depravity of this Church comparing criticism of its leaders to the horrors of anti-Semitism. There was real shame in exterminating millions of people because of their ethnicity, but there is no shame at all in seeking to make this Church accountable for the consequences of its reprehensible actions.

  • Michaelhenry

    good to see alias agree that the royal family are anti catholic.

  • difficult or embarrassing?

  • USA

    Alias, yeah its all the fault of those darn Catholics…..from the time of the “Roman procurator” through their apparent organizing of the holocaust in the last century.
    Dude, the Catholic church has a lot to answer for but do us all a favor and check your bigotry at the door.

  • Alias

    Were you born that stupid or did your mother tell you to practice your pogo stick under a low arch?

  • dwatch

    [i]Dude, the Catholic church has a lot to answer for but do us all a favor and check your bigotry at the door.[/i]

    bigotry is not as bad as child abuse. Thats probably why there are more bigots around than child abusers

  • michaelhenry

    I have been wondering, I mean no one is that bad at English, or if they are, their English is bad all the time…

    It could be argued that if the Catholic Church is in difficulties, at least it isnt disintegrating like the Anglican Church. Rowan Williams attitude is understandable. He is, to say the least, a woolly headed liberal, the Pope is a hard line conservative.

    The child abuse scandal is not limited to the Catholic Church. We need full investigations into all religious institutions, I am sure there is more to find. Rowan Williams may yet find, the homophobic members of his congregation are the least of his problems.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    No harm to give the catholic church both barrels on this issue.

    There covering up and protecting of the establishment in the church is as bad if not worse than the actions of the Paedophiles. The Paedophiles(some of) at least can blame their actions on for them uncontrollable compulsions.

    The cover uppers have no such excuses.

    The sooner the catholic church comes completely clean on all that it knows and offers reparations (from its own coffers) the better.

    In fact this is its only chance of having a future. I won’t be holding my breath !

  • Michaelhenry

    im bad at english pippakin,good republican slogan that.

  • Procrasnow

    I have never been supportive of the Anglican tradition, but my respect today goes to Dr Williams, for doing what others have been slow to do up until now.

    Dr Williams statement is an example of the situation when men and women set aside principles of diplomacy and do the right thing.

    If the Leader of the Roman Catholic church,
    or any of his Cardinals,
    Arch Bishops,
    or any of those priests who have abused their position of trust and abused those who trusted them,
    were accused of being possessors or guardians of the Love of Jesus Christ, would there be any evidence to convict them?

    I think not.

    How long more can we allow such an institution to have any influence in the education or well being of our most precious young children.

    Well Done Dr Williams, God be with you.

  • Border Fox

    I often wonder whether the 2nd Vatican Council as convened by Pope John XXIII IN 1962 was scuppered by the paedophiles.

  • Drumlins Rock

    ah but according to the pope the 2nd Vatican Council is to blame for it. I see the Irish bishops have been offended by his remarks, they have totally lost the plot.

  • Michaelhenry

    12# See what I mean?

  • Drumlins Rock

    #15 No one likes the truth, especially when its coming from people in glass houses.

  • Can you imagine what would happen if there was a dedicated whistleblowing website for the childhood abused in every country? Do you think paedophiles would be handing themselves in to authorities for protection from natural rough justice, which some might spin as vigilantism? This is what happened in Germany …..

  • Michaelhenry

    the message is still geting out master pippakin,over and out.

  • Michaelhenry

    If you think my English is bad, you should hear my Irish!

    BTW was that BA in English lang or English lit??

  • CatinHat

    “It could be argued that if the Catholic Church is in difficulties, at least it isnt disintegrating like the Anglican Church.”

    Disintegration can actually be the best thing to happen to a church, and is probably part of the reason why churchgoing is much more popular stateside than in Europe.

  • nick

    I see that Williams has pulled the neck in-shame that. There’s nothing more likely to unify Irish Catholics than an English Protestant Church leader lacing the boot in.Reminds me of the ditty
    spoken of by Brendan Behan
    ‘Of your eminent protestant prelates
    Will you cease to prattle and prate
    The foundation stones of their temple
    Was the bollicks of Henty the Eight’

  • Archbishop Williams expresses ‘regret’ to ‘stunned’ Archbishop Martin.

  • nick

    Theres nothing more likely to inify Irish Catholics than an English Protestant Church leader etc.

    Unless its finding out the Holy Roman Empire are a bunch of nonces…

    Archbishop Martin ‘stunned’ you mean he had actually got off the floor from the abuse blow?

  • GavBelfast

    Williams would have been better to have just kept his mouth shut, rather than to justifiably criticize the Roman Catholic Church (though not ordinary Catholics) over the extent of the abuse, cover-up and respionse, and then pathetically apologize for what he said.

    Even as a “leading” churchmen go, Williams is an odd one.

  • GavBelfast

    I have to agree. Williams is responsible for much that is wrong with the Anglican Communion. He no sooner got the hat than it the slow decline of the church became a stampede.

  • James

    We’ll take your angry misogynists but not your opinions on our pedos?

  • TellMeMa

    Rowan Williams doesn’t have much credibility. A little while ago he suggested some aspects of Sharia law should be adopted into UK law. He figuratively had to hide behind the sofa to try to avoid the backlash. He said he didn’t quite mean what he was quoted as saying. Same as this time.

    I bet the Islamists are loving these problems with the Christian churches, though they don’t quite match the Sunni vs Shia and Wahhabis vs anybody other kind of Moslem (and all kaffirs). And in these Christian problems, no one’s had one’s arm chopped off, or more intimate parts of the male anatomy.

    Listening to the interview, Rowan’s comment was an aside, an exaggeration you would make if making conversation at a dinner party. Naturally enough the media turned it into the main point of what Rowan said.

    Rowan has written a good book about Teresa of Avila. Maybe he should stick to scholarship and dinner parties rather than mouthing off to the media. Especially when it’s likely that a paedo embarrassment is lurking for the CofE too. People in glass houses, etc.

  • TellMeMa

    It had to happen, the law of averages demand it, I find to my immense surprise and reluctance: I completely agree with you.

  • Coll Ciotach

    good to see the Anglicans recognising their place

  • I must say its a bit rich if the Archbishop of Dublin manages to stop wringing his hands and groveling to the victims of abuse, just in time to throw his dolly out of the pram about the comments of an English Archbishop.

    It certainly appears to show any humility and shame is nothing more than ‘skin deep’

  • Fabianus


    I agree. As does Private Eye.

  • Fabianus

    True, but cruel. You remind me it is some years since I read Private Eye. I miss it and must start again.