So the following story about what he said recently about homosexual "weddings" in C of E churches should be read as the statement of a politician and interpreted in light of his overall objectives and certainly not taken at face value.
From Virtue Online comes this story: "Gay weddings will never take place in church buildings, vows Dr. Williams:"
The Archbishop of Canterbury has vowed he will never allow Church of England buildings to be used for gay weddings.Read it all here. Let's note some context.
Dr Rowan Williams told MPs that he would not bow to pressure to enable his churches to be used for same-sex unions.
His intervention comes as the Coalition consults on plans to allow civil partnerships between gays and lesbians to take place in religious settings for the first time.
No church, mosque or synagogue will be forced to host the ceremonies - but some religious people are worried they could be open to discrimination suits if they do not open their doors to gay unions.
Some within the CofE have been calling on the Archbishop to move with the times and allow his churches to host gay weddings - pointing out that polls have shown that some two thirds of the British public would be in support.
But now Dr Williams, who was seen as a liberal when he took up his post, has indicated that on this issue he will ally himself with conservatives in the Church.
He told MPs that the CofE believed marriage could only be a union between a man and a woman - and that he would not be changing course.
First, Williams has been a pro-homosexuality campaigner for over two decades. By campaigner I mean he has written in support of normalizing homosexual activity and has been involved in founding lobby groups within the C of E to promote sodomy as good.
Second, Williams has refused to discipline the Episcopal Church for going against the Anglican Communion on the matter of glorifying homosexuality as good and right even to the extreme of ordaining unrepentant homosexuals as bishops.
Third, Williams has not opposed the normalization of homosexuality within the C of E one small step at a time except in a handful of situations such as the case of Jeffrey Johns in which he was forced to beat a tactical retreat so as to live to fight another day.
There is, so far as I can see, no reason to view this "tough talk" as anything other than meaningless grandstanding designed to appear to be somehow "neutral" or "moderate" so as to create space in which to push the overall homosexual agenda further and deeper into Anglican institutions. When homosexuality is celebrated as a sacrament of the Church, do you really think Williams will actually resist at the cost of his comfy position in the hierarchy and his reputation with the liberals?
This is a common tactic in the "long march through the institutions" by 60s radicals. Whenever you come to a highly visible, public, symbolic moment you must think carefully whether the time is right to push the door open or whether doing so would provoke too great a public backlash at this time. If too great a backlash is created, then it sets back the radical agenda by decades. Homosexual activists are very close to taking over the C of E once and for all. Most of the necessary conditions are in place. But it would be safer to wait until conditions are right. I'm sure, for example, that the radicals never thought this step would be pushed by a Conservative government!
Nevertheless, it all moves forward one step at a time and the time is coming, without doubt when the C of E will be completely taken over. When that time comes, the radicals will celebrate the pragmatic, diplomatic work of Rowan Williams as having been just as important to their cause as the noisy, pushy methods of the more radical types.