The resignation of the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, comes at a time of tension within the Anglican Church over issues related to homosexuality as well as women bishops. Vicki Barker has reaction to the news.
Alain de Botton is the author of Religion for Atheists.
A survey published in the U.K. in January predicted that within 20 years, the majority of the British population will define themselves as having no religion. In the British isles, religion has become something of a sideshow, even a joke. Remember that this is the land that gave us The Life of Brian. Even the BBC has caught on with a satirical series called Rev., about a hapless comedic clergyman who has no faith but has a strong inclination to be good.
Rowan Williams, who as archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader for more than 70 million Anglicans around the world, announced today that he will step down at the end of the year to become Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University.
The priest who was put on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Washington following a much-talked-about incident in which he denied communion to a lesbian woman attending her mother's funeral, has issued a long defense of his action and has said the church isn't being candid about the reason for its decision to put him on leave.