What do you do when it is 4th and 7 on your own 12 yard line? You punt, of course!

This is exactly what Rowan Williams is apparently doing. Confronted by the fact that several Bishops would not attend the Lambeth Conference due to the ECUSA’s love of all things homosexual, the Archbishop has decided to extend the deadline. The Bishops had said that they would not respond to the invitation to attend unless the demands made Primates in February at Dar es Salaam were addressed. Faced with such a stark choice between the homosexual agenda and unity, the Archbishop has apparently decided to punt.

Rather than take a principled stand, delay is apparently the name of the game. Delay would be fine if there were some serious effort to resolve the crisis, but this does not seem to be the case. In their communique, the Primates gave the US bishops until September 30 to agree to “make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions” and “confirm that… a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion.”.

Is either side likely to back down in this standoff? Not likely. So what is the point of extending the deadline? Punting the ball in hopes that the other team will fumble is the only answer that I can think of. However, it is likely that this is just delaying the inevitable.

Deadlines can be extended, conferences postponed or even canceled. However, some day soon, Rowan Williams will have to choose. Will it be the Americans and their homosexual agenda, or unity based on principle? He can run, but he can’t hide.