November 7, 2012
Anglicans Finally Have New Archbishop Of Canterbury: Justin Welby
New leader of world’s 77 million Anglicans replaces outgoing Rowan Williams.
After a decision-making delay that lasted several weeks, the 77 million-member Anglican Communion is prepared to enthrone the next Archbishop of Canterbury: Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, according to early media reports.
The Daily Telegraph noted that "theologically, [Welby] is unashamedly part of the evangelical tradition, upholding a more traditional and conservative interpretation of the Bible than some in the Church of England. But he is also a strong advocate of more modern styles of worship."
The Daily Mail noted that Welby "would represent a significant swing to the right for the Anglican church, following the controversial liberal stance of his predecessor Dr Rowan Williams."
Welby was widely viewed as the front runner, beating out Archbishop of York John Sentamu and Bishop of London Richard Chartres.
But the decision itself is almost overshadowed by frustration that it has taken so long. Rowan Williams announced his intention to step down from his role as archbishop in March, and a 16-member Crown Nominations Commission "has been 'discerning' the choice" ever since. The decision was expected several weeks ago.
Anglican clergy warned the Commission that worshipers were "losing trust" over the "ridiculous secrecy" of the choice, contrasting the process to that of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which openly posted its selection process online and announced its newest leader, Bishop Tawadros II, last week.
CT reported the selection of Tawadros by casting lots. CT also has covered outgoing Archbishop Rowan Williams, including his decision to step down and his earlier argument that English law should make some space for Islamic law.