Friday, 9 November 2012

New Archbishop welcomed

Forward in Faith welcomes the Archbishop designate :
"Forward in Faith is pleased to learn from 10 Downing Street that the Right Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, is to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.  The appointment of a man with a proven track record of engagement with, and support of, traditionalists is most welcome and we look forward to working with him to achieve an equitable solution to the problems presently facing the Church of England.  He can be assured of our prayers as he prepares for his translation."
Now something of an anti-climax after the story has been so widely leaked, the official announcement from 10, Downing Street is here, and also see the Archbishop of Canterbury's website [here]

This is from the message of welcome from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala  on behalf of GAFCON; it makes an important point [my bold type]: this appointment is not just about the Church of England but is at present of huge significance to the future direction of the Anglican Communion - but should it be, given both the less than representative method of selection (the only official representative of the Communion on the commission was the Archbishop of Wales!)  and the increasingly theologically revisionist nature of the C of E itself - obscured, only to an extent, by Bishop Welby's appointment?
"...After the Primates of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met earlier this year in London, we said we were praying for a ‘godly leader of God’s people’ to emerge from the selection procedure for the next Archbishop of Canterbury and I believe our prayer has been answered. However, it would be unfair and misleading to suggest that one man can resolve the crisis which has beset the Anglican Communion in recent years and we also stated our belief ‘that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves’. Our proposal, while not intended to deny the honour due to Canterbury as an historic see, is an expression of the truth we hold as vital, that our identity as Anglicans stems first and foremost from adherence to the faith we confess. It is this which gives substance and integrity to our bonds of affection and our efforts to relieve poverty and promote development...."
The full message is here

The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, has issued the following statement of welcome:
“On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, I warmly welcome the news of the appointment of the current Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.“I know that Bishop Welby will bring many personal gifts and experience to his new role. As the future Primate of the Church of England, I am sure that his ministry, like that of his predecessor Archbishop Rowan Williams, will provide an important Christian witness to this country over the coming years.“In fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ’s prayer that his followers may all be one, I hope that we will endeavour to strengthen the bonds of Christian friendship and mission already established between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. I look forward to working closely with Bishop Welby in the service of the common good and in the common witness we can give to all the people in our land.“The Archbishop-elect may be assured of the prayers and best wishes of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and of the whole Catholic community in our country.”
The message can be read in full here

Oh, and some amusingly sniffy stuff from Father Z [here], presumably for whom, quite logically, the last true Archbishop of Canterbury was the great Cardinal Pole.

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