Tributes pour in from around the world

Published May 1, 2012

When Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams announced he was stepping down at the end of the year, tributes and reactions quickly poured in.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
“He has brought to that office the great gift of his intellect and his deep passion for the well-being of the church. He’s worked very, very hard to hold the Communion together…During his time there’s been a kind of wonderful refocusing on the understanding of the church as a servant of God’s mission.”

U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.
“We can all give thanks for his erudition and persistence in seeking reconciliation across a rapidly changing Anglican Communion. His leadership of that reconciling work through Indaba [‘purposeful communication’] and Ubuntu is bearing remarkable fruit.”

David Cameron
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“As a man of great learning and humility, he has guided the church through times of challenge and change. He has sought to unite different communities and offer a profoundly humane sense of moral leadership that was respected by people of all faiths and none…”

Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Roman Catholic diocese of Westminster, U.K.
“In the last three years I have grown to appreciate more and more the fine qualities of Archbishop Rowan: his kindness, his sharp intellect, his dedication to striving for harmony between peoples, especially within the Christian family, his courage and his friendship.”

Archbishops David Moxon, WILLIAM Brown Turei and Winston Halapua, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
“…He was above all wise, in the biblical sense, with a great heart for the diversity of the Anglican Communion, across all its cultures, and with all its theological tensions. He has a way of searching for the highest common good with all the resources of his scholarship.”

Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary, World Council of Churches
“His strong commitment to the unity of the church and the common work for justice and peace remains steadfast and part of his ongoing ministry.” Archbishop Alan Harper
Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh
“While the churches of the Anglican Communion will feel a considerable sense of loss when he departs, as an intellectual, a Christian thinker and a poet, he will bring a rich offering of gifts to [his new] position.”

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba
Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
“He has exercised remarkable gospel-shared leadership during tumultuous times for our Communion…As Southern Africans we say he is ‘Truly Umtu,’ someone who lives and embodies the fullness of ubuntu–that is, through others we find our own humanity…”

Archbishop Peter Jensen
Diocese of Sydney, Australia
“In his time as Archbishop, the Anglican Communion has been subjected to unprecedented stresses. With the majority of Anglicans now from theologically conservative churches of the Global South, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury will demand a deepening appreciation of their place in the Communion.”

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate of the Anglican Province of Burundi
“His years as Archbishop of Canterbury have been marked by wise and prayerful pursuit of the unity of the church…His message of “gracious restraint” at Lambeth 2008 was a call to the leadership of the Anglican Communion….”

Archbishop Paul Kwong,
Primate of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui
“While he is known to many as a gifted spiritual thinker with immense intellectual capacity, he impresses me most for his humility and compassion, the two fundamental attributes as God’s servant. Despite the challenges facing the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Rowan had the ironclad faith to preserve our unity while working to develop our ministry.”


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