First time for days that I've had time to read my Telegraph, or attend to my blog. While I've been away, its become clear to me that I'm not a suitable person to be appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its a job which requires a politician as well as a theologian, and one who is ultra careful with words - examining every single word with meticulous care before its utterance. My tendency to commit random thoughts to print would probably lead to a return to great wars about religion.
I'm a bit of a fan of Archbishop Rowan Williams. I know he's a 'leftie' but he is Welsh, and he's an intellectual, and he has such a rich, dark brown voice. But he's really put his foot in his mouth this time. And at the Easter weekend. He's told the BBC that an Irish friend had told him that "its quite difficult in some parts of Ireland to go down the street wearing a clerical collar". And he went on to refer to the Catholic Church in Ireland as "an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly becoming - suddenly losing all credibility..." I understand that he might have been a bit narked when the Pope Benedict offered unsettled members of the Anglican Church an easy transfer to Catholicism last year. But this was surely going over the top. No apology is going to put the lid back on this one.
This issue has engaged my mind because yesterday, I attended a Good Friday event in Welshpool, where all the Churches marched together behind a wooden cross, in a show of unity. There were several mini sermons and hymns, including 'How great thou art'. There was also a smidgen of disunity about the absence of a Welsh hymn. Easy to find trouble when religion and culture clash. Personally, I do not think the words of Archbishop Rowan Williams were well chosen. Its true that the Catholic Church has handled the paedophile cover ups incredibly badly. But he was just about the last person in the world who should have been pointing it out. Its like Arsene Wenger commenting on Manchester United's performance this afternoon. This row is going to cause one hell of a kerfuffle. Good job that neither the Archbishop or the Pope write a blog.