After three meetings the Crown Nominations Commission remains unable to present Prime Minister David Cameron with 2 names, a first choice and an alternate, for Rowan Williams' successor as Archbishop of Canterbury. Today the Church of England press office released a statement at the close of the three day meeting of the Commission that indicated it had not been able to agree upon a candidate.
Likely, the Commission will have to meet again. The names will be passed to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the II, for a final appointment of the 105th man to sit on the throne of St. Augustine of Canterbury.
This is yet another indication of how sorely divided the Church of England is, and many believe it will not be able to continue as a unified ecclesiastical body. There is disagreement on doctrine, women bishops, gay and lesbian clergy, and no shared vision of the future.
John Milbank has written, "What is essential is that the Crown Nominations Commission does not sacrifice vision to efficiency - lack of the former, at this juncture, could prove disastrous. I remain optimistic though, for . . . there are several able potential candidates, and more crucially, among the younger generation, real signs of Anglican revival, on both the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical wings. All the while, whiggish liberalism in the Church of England continues its rapid and inexorable decline."
Milbank is Research Professor of Politics, Religion and Ethics at the University of Nottingham, Director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy, and Chairman of the ResPublica Trust.
Related: Crown Commission Deadlocked