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
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
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).