This week in religion news begins with glad tidings for Anglicans and comedy fans alike: the producers of The Simpsons have invited Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, to consider a guest appearance. A few copyeditors around the world have risen to the occasion, offering such headlines as "The Arch Bartship," "Praise Be! Rowan role on Simpsons?" and "Will Rowan be First Archbishop of Springfield?"
Williams has been a fan of the show for seven years. He praised the show in a 2000 address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, soon after becoming archbishop to Welsh Anglicans. He has endorsed Mark Pinsky's Gospel According to The Simpsons.
The culture-savvy Williams is a patron of the annual Greenbelt arts festival, and will speak there later this summer.
Sara Thomas of the Wales Daily Post delivers the best quote from Simpsons producer Al Jean: "We'd love to have him on the show if he doesn't mind Comic Book Guy calling him the 'worst archbishop ever.'"
Even GetReligion, which wrings its hands regularly about the state of the Anglican Communion, would not join Comic Book Guy in such a withering assessment of Williams' brief tenure. But with Williams' bushy beard and rich voice, and Anglicans' never-ending debates about sex, the Simpsons team will have plenty of source material.