By Senior Staff Writer
A decision to appoint the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury has run into difficulties after the nominating council disagreed on whether to appoint the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. While he has supporters on the Crown Nominations Commission, the Ugandan-born cleric, 63, who is the second most senior clergy in the Church of England, is seen by others as ‘too divisive’ to be appointed leader of the world’s Anglican community.
The choice of choosing a successor to Dr Rowan now looks likely to be delayed for several months. The nominating commission sat last Friday and was supposed to choose two names to present to the British Prime Minister and to Her Majesty. It broke up after failing to agree to the names to be sent to Mr Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II.
A statement from the Church of England said that the work of choosing a successor could go on throughout the autumn. No announcement was expected this weekend as any successful candidate would have to be endorsed by the prime minister and the Queen. In response to intense speculation that the commission had failed to agree a candidate the Church confirmed that the decision could take several weeks or even months to emerge.
Officials stressed that the group had all of autumn to decide; conceding only that it would want to avoid having no-one to replace Dr Williams when he steps down at the end of the year. An article in the Sunday Times quoted insiders as saying there was ‘resentment over (Dr Sentamu’s) conservative stance on homosexuality and his opposition to the clergy becoming bishops if they are divorced or married to divorcees’.