They say a picture paints a thousand words, but in Archbishop Williams’ case the sweet little snap taken as a memento of his recent Ugandan junket is more like an entire novel. Albeit one by Harold Robbins lying in the bargain-basket of a very seedy second-hand book-store.
After all, he is the great grand pooh-bah of all things Anglican, and as such I can well understand him feeling an obligation to visit all his flock – including those members of the Communion who are the equivalent of that uncle in your own family who served time for indecently exposure, and who can never get it into his head that nobody is listening admiringly when he boasts about having been inducted into the Klan. Still, just as a little discretion goes a long way when purchasing the latest copy of Hustler, having one’s picture taken with someone who’s famous for insulting the good folk who pay a great many of one’s bills is just plain foolish.
Nor can it be argued that His Cantaurness was unaware little Bobby Duncan was sitting just five warm prelate posteriors away; another keepsake doing the rounds shows the pair making the kind of eye-contact usually accompanied by fireworks and Tijuana horns on Love American Style. Which is all well and good from little Bobby’s perspective; as a Conservative Schismatic it’s his job to fly around the world attending talk-fests. A man in his position can’t be expected to work at cleaning up his own back yard – not when it’s so much easier to fly business class and complain about others laboring in their own corner of God’s great garden, and being photographed that close to the Man With The Beard is the pseudo-Anglican kudos-seekers’ equivalent to passive-smoking: the smell isn’t the only thing that’s going to drift in your direction.
Yet a whirlwind blows smoke more ways than just one, and from where most Episcopalians sit it certainly looks like Bobby Duncan wasn’t the only one inhaling. Just as it took me some serious talking to calm everyone down after I was caught by the paparazzi with three jelly-wrestlers and the owner of Europe’s most prestigious flea circus, ++Rowan’s going to have to work awfully hard if he wants the people who bailed out his credit card after Lambeth to forget about this one. And so far the “sheepish silence” routine doesn’t look like getting an ovation from anyone not currently meeting in a rented Seventh Day Adventist hall and trying to pay off the costs incurred in a failed property dispute…
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.