Can we cope with the flood of eccentricity about to swoop down on us?
Of course, there is another C of E which is perfectly sane, most at ease with itself in the common rooms of Oxbridge and in the drawing rooms of Tory grandees, capable of expressing the deepest theology with the greatest of charm. With a bit of luck ++Rowan will not be reading the Daily Express but confining his intellectual curiosity to the Telegraph or, at an extreme pinch, to the Guardian.
But what will he say to us?
We have had ten years or so of ++Rowan confining his true beliefs about this and that (well, ok, about homsoexuality) to his inner theologian while allowing his outer archepiscopal self to steer a line so fine that we can measure the success of his tight rope walking by the pillorying of him from both sides of the line. Now, with freedom upon him from that outer self imminent, might he in the relaxed atmosphere of Down Under let his inner self out on parade for all the world to see.
He is, after all, an Anglican bish and not a Roman cardinal. He shouldn't have to wait till he is dead to resume telling us what he really thinks.
Speaking of which, of baring one's inner theologian only after death, and of sane and sound talk by the episcopoi, the late Cardinal Martini's posthumously published interview is now available in English.
Here are his money paragraphs:
"The first is conversion: the church must recognize its errors and follow a radical path of change, beginning with the pope and the bishops. The pedophilia scandals compel us to take up a path of conversion. Questions about sexuality, and all the themes involving the body, are an example. These are important to everyone, sometimes perhaps too important. We have to ask ourselves if people still listen to the advice of the church on sexual matters. Is the church still an authoritative reference in this field, or simply a caricature in the media?
I have this funny feeling that he has more in common with ++Rowan than one might think looking at the width of the Tiber flowing between them.
For the record: ADU has not given the evangelical plot away with its admiration of Martini. I find the paragraph above about the Word of God to be confusing!