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Dr Tutu was sought for Canterbury

02 November 2006

THE FORMER Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel prizewinner Dr Desmond Tutu waconsidered as one of the candidates to become the Archbishop of Canterbury othe retirement of Lord Runcie in 1991.

Details of this are revealed in a new authorised biography* by John Allen, journalist and a former member of Dr Tutus staff and of the Truth anReconciliation Commission in South Africa. It is to be published next month.

A member of the Crown Appointments Commission contacted Dr Tutus staff fohis birth details, saying that they were exploring his eligibility to becomthe next Archbishop. He was not considered a suitable candidate, however, a"he was in no position to swear allegiance to the Queen of England."

In the book, Dr Tutu has criticised the current Archbishop of Canterbury, DWilliams, for being "too accommodating of conservatives" in the debate ohomosexuality in the Anglican Communion. He said that it was wrong to demanthat the Churches of the US and Canada should recant their tolerance of gayand lesbians under threat of expulsion from the Communion. If the conservativedid not like the inclusiveness of the Anglican Communion, "they have thfreedom to leave," he said.

The book also reveals how, after the debate on homosexuality at the LambetConference in 1998, Dr Tutu wrote to the then Archbishop of Canterbury, LorCarey, saying that he was "ashamed to be an Anglican". Dr Tutu withheld publicomment so as not to overshadow the work of his successor as Archbishop of CapTown, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane. But he was unable to keep quiet, an"began to include in speeches and sermons careful remarks which made hiposition clear".

*Rabble-Rouser for Peacby John Allen (Rider Random House, 18.99; 1-84413571-3).

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