I wouldn’t fancy ++Rowan’s job for all the coffee in Brazil. He’s holding two pairs to a flush at the outside, so whichever way the cards fall, he’s gonna bust. Or, is he? Knowing that one cannot predict the unpredictable, like the outcome of solemn conclave or oil prices, agreement might be a safer bet. Unlike Pater Benedict, however, ++R has no authority outside his own See, he is simply ‘primus inter pares’. It’s comforting to reflect, however, that this is one of the better models of the early church, the one before the Bishops of Rome declared themselves to hold Imperial Authority. And not all bishops agreed to run with it for at least six hundred years after Leo VI gave himself the top job. Poor Rowan frequently makes a lot of sense if you bother to read what he has actually said or written instead of the usual claptrap the Press trots out, most of whom are neither interested enough nor sufficiently knowledgeable to gather correct information.
Given the thorny theological issues under discussion, one might have expected rather more press coverage – but it might be a bit off-scale for the luvvies, or the infidel Joe Public doesn’t really care.
At least the Conference is getting some important issues discussed. Whether the Church outside the UK, Europe and the Americas will agree on all of them is a matter for God. I have a feeling that they will not.
I remember seeing this beautiful mosaic. Over the Imperial Gate, Leo VI, the Wise (886-912), is shown prostrated at the feet of Christ with medallions of the Virgin and an Archangel above. The Archangel no doubt symbolizes the belief that Aya Sofia was built with divine aid while angels watched.