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A "chat" with the Archbishop of Canterbury


The Most Rev Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, told the young woman interviewing him Friday to just call him "Rowan".

The "bate-papo" has quickly become a highlight of the 9th Assembly. The daily half-hour sessions, which take their name from the Brazilian word for an informal conversation, pair a high-profile ecumenical personality with a young ecumenist.

Most Rev. Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, was the guest in Friday's chat, paired with Peggy Mekel of Indonesia. The two discussed globalization and economic justice issues, with Williams noting that "economic slavery is as much slavery as other kinds."

As the topic shifted to the lack of youth involvement in the church, Williams observed that young people are often disappointed. They see in Jesus Christ someone who says change is possible, but they often fail to see that transformation occurring in churches, he said. "The answer is not for the church to say we have to be more entertaining. We have to look more seriously at humanity", Williams said. "(Young people) don't want to be entertained or patronized. They want to be stretched - and they might stretch us, too."