11/10/2012, 00.00
GREAT BRITAIN - IRAQ
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New Primate of England committed to Inter-religious dialogue

The appointment of the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, former Anglican Bishop of Durham was confirmed yesterday by Prime Minister David Cameron. The new leader of the Anglican Communion worked for years as a special envoy of Rowan Williams in Africa and the Middle East. The Vicar of Baghdad stresses his emphasis on dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "The new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is a great man of God who helped me to reopen the Church of St. George in Baghdad and with whom I worked on  dialogue with Islam in the most tortured places in the world: Israel, Nigeria and Iraq", says Canon Andrew White, vicar of the Anglican Church in Iraq,  underlining the strong commitment of the successor of Rowan Williams in interreligious dialogue. "What can you say when a colleague and a friend becomes Archbishop? - asks White - you just have to thank God."

Father of six children and ex-oil manager, Justin Welby, 56, current bishop of Durham, will lead the Anglican Church - about 70 million followers around the world - in one of its most difficult moments, characterized by deep internal divisions over the consecration of woman bishops and homosexual priests. His election was confirmed yesterday by the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Ordained in 1992, Welby is part of the evangelical wing of the Anglicans that preaches adherence to the traditions of the Bible and its precepts, but that for several years has been marked by a deep division on doctrinal themes. In recent years he has served as special envoy to Africa, particularly in Nigeria where he worked in collaboration with other Catholic and Protestant leaders, on reconciliation between Christians and Muslims. In 2011 he was appointed Bishop of Durham (East of England).

 

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