Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, is embroiled in a new crisis within the Church of England over the decision to block the appointment of a gay cleric as bishop of Southwark.
Liberals and mainstream Anglicans are furious that the archbishop has once more failed to exert any leadership over mutinous forces threatening to split the church over the sensitive issue of homosexuality.
Dr Jeffrey John, the dean of St Albans, was in the running for the senior position at Southwark until his name was leaked, enabling conservative clerics to stop the appointment. An embattled Williams has now launched an inquiry at Lambeth Palace to find out who divulged the name .
The archbishop was appalled that John's name was disclosed in a successful attempt to derail his candidacy, exactly seven years after he was forced to stand down as the prospective bishop of Reading following a previous outcry by conservative evangelicals against John's sexuality. Fingers are being pointed at the same evangelical hardliners who orchestrated the 2003 campaign. Read more