(The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is asked for his opinion on the forthcoming Papal visit to Britain.)
Interviewer: Your Grace, are you looking forward to the pontiff’s visit?
Williams: Very much so.
Interviewer: And why is that, may I ask?
Williams: I believe it could provide an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen ties between the UK and the Holy See.
Interviewer: How so, Your Grace?
Williams: How so? Well, through concerted action to tackle poverty and climate change, as well as the important role of faith groups in creating strong communities.
Interviewer: Are those your words, if you don’t mind my asking, Your Grace?
Williams: Well, no. Those are the words of the Foreign Office in actual fact.
Interviewer: The Foreign Office?
Interviewer: So, let me get this straight. You are the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. But you are quoting the Foreign Office?
Williams: Well, yes. However, it is fair to say that, by and large, I endorse those words. The aspirations of the visit, as expressed by the Foreign Office are generally ones that I would go along with.
Interviewer: With all respect, Your Grace... As head of the Church of England, do you not think that your role is not simply to endorse the words of bureaucrats and politicians, but to provide leadership and guidance... especially when it comes to your Anglican flock?
Williams: (Hesitant) Oh... I see. Yes. Well, I never thought about it quite like that. I do believe that I was originally appointed by a politician. By a Prime Minister in fact. But, now come to think of it... I suppose that there’s some merit in what you have just said.
Interviewer: Some merit?
Williams: (Uneasy) Yes.
Interviewer: And so, Your Grace, can I ask you... what you are going to do next? What are you going to do now?
Williams: (Flustered) Well... I suppose I really ought to consult someone. Some body.
Interviewer: And who would that be, if I may be so bold? Another politician or bureaucrat?
Williams: No. No, I suppose not. Not this time round.
Interviewer: And have you anything to add to that, Your Grace?
Williams: No... No. Probably not at this time.
Interviewer: Well then all that's left to say is... thank you for your time.
Williams: Thank you too.