From Ruth Gledhill's blog, commenting on the Archbishop's response to the episcopal election in Los Angeles.
"Critics are understandably questioning why speak out on this so forcefully, while showing such restraint on Uganda. It is probably in vain to point out that one concerns a matter of national governance, in which the Archbishop of Canterbury has no authority to speak, and the other a matter of Anglican ecclesial polity, in which he is perfectly justified in taking a stand.
The fact is, whatever the ecclesiological jurisprudence, it looks bad. Very bad indeed. Changing Attitude does a good job of explaining why.
I wish I could do something, write something, to help the Archbishop get out of this mess.
But it feels impossible. His difficulties I fear are truly manifold. "
RG is one of Britain's best and most highly regarded Religious Affairs correspondents and is pretty friendly towards Rowan Williams on the whole. She is trying (gamely) to offer some sort of defence of his Sunday morning Press statement. Her use of the words"in vain" reveal her understanding that this is a pretty feeble defence, but it's the best she can do with the scanty material she has. The idea that the ABC cannot comment on issues of National Governance is simply not credible. The "Faith in the City" report made clear comment on such issues many years ago.
No, Rowan has erred hugely in reacting so swiftly and clearly: the horrid contrast with with his silence towards the Bahati Bill and the Church of Uganda's early support of it is dreadful. Nothing in the American actions threatens hundreds, thousands of lives, yet it is promptly condemned. When even your friends, who are happy to pop friendly articles into the public domain reassuring everyone that you really are appalled (courtesy of a good but unattributable source), feel that you have put yourself publicly into a position that looks utterly compromised, then truly you are in deep doo-doo. The current occupant of Lambeth Palace has, I fear fatally, lost all moral credibility in Anglican Communion matters. The Covenant is dead in the water. If one of the key instruments of Communion (the ABC) cannot be trusted to be impartial, but will always been seen as siding with one grouping even when it is manifestly utterly morally wrong, then no Province from the other side of the debate will sensibly submit themselves to a issue resolution process that is intrinsically skewed against their freedom and viewpoint.
In trying to save the Communion, Rowan has lost it. Which is tragic, given that he is, without doubt, a good and holy man.