Looking for the Light

As the Anglican Church threatens to split over ordaining gay priests in the U.S., the Archbishop of Canterbury seeks to reconcile liberals and conservatives

Julian Anderson for TIME

Portrait of Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, taken at his London residence - Lambeth Palace on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007.

For his last official act before a three-month sabbatical, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams ordained a new bishop in London's St. Paul's Cathedral. Williams, the tousle-haired leader of the Church of England and titular head of its global offshoot, the Anglican Communion, performed the liturgy of ordination: "Will you strive for the visible unity of Christ's Church?" he asked. Answered the new bishop: "By the help of God, I will."

By the help of God, indeed. Almost from the day he took over, in 2002, Williams, now 56, has been attempting to prevent a schism among the world's 79 million Anglicans....

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