Comments: Initial Reactions to new Archbishop of Canterbury

Just to add to the wealth of articles on your site, this one from the Daily in Canada's capital, which reads in part,

"Welby said he supported the ordination of women as bishops, and indicated his thinking on same-sex marriage — which he has opposed — was evolving."

Read more:

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 9 November 2012 at 4:30pm GMT

Oh, great. An Evangelical, former oil company executive, who opposes gay marriage. Just great.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Kurt at Friday, 9 November 2012 at 5:43pm GMT

Can it be that nobody has yet thought to ask Lord Carey of Clifton for his opinion on the new archbishop? I'm quite certain he must have a view he's just bursting to share with the world. Won't someone please put him back in the papers and the rest of us out of our misery? Ruth Gledhill, I think this is your remit.

Posted by rjb at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 5:20am GMT

I believe that Bishop Martin of Chichester has also offered his prayers and good wishes on his diocesan website to the Archbishop Designate.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 8:31am GMT

That wise old bird - Dr. Kenneth Stevenson - the late Bishop of Portsmouth once wrote that bishops, in his view, were either Prefects or Rebels and that there were too many of the former and not enough of the latter. I wonder whether ++ Justin is going to turn out to be a Prefect or a Rebel as he ascends to the throne of St. Augustine in Canterbury Cathedral?

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 9:06am GMT

He seems duller than his predecessor and so likely to attract less attention. He uses the phrase "lgbt communities" -- haven't heard it on episcopal lips before.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 11:55am GMT

What's the background on this?

We're told that constitutional convention had been responsible for the delay – the pope and Queen had to be told before the news could be confirmed. ( Pope bit, I mean)

Posted by Randal Oulton at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 5:39pm GMT

'The key thing he had got from his career in the oil industry was "the sense of having lived and worked in a world where the church is felt to be completely irrelevant".'

Excellent perspective for an ABC to have. Reminds me of the late Jack Sperry, former bishop of the Arctic, who told me that his best ordination training was his years on a destroyer escort in the Battle of the Atlantic, learning to get along and live as a Christian among people for whom the very idea of Christianity was a joke.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 5:44pm GMT

'Oh, great. An Evangelical, former oil company executive, who opposes gay marriage. Just great.' - Kurt Hill

An evangelical who appreciates Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality and has a Benedictine monk as his spiritual director. A former oil company executive who has said some pretty left-wing things about business and banking (so says Peter Mullen). A guy who opposes gay marriage but says he knows he needs to reconsider his views carefully and prayerfully.

Cheer up, Kurt; some evangelicals are already saying he's not evangelical enough!

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 10 November 2012 at 7:32pm GMT

I must admit that I slept through this conclave and missed the white smoke.
I'm too busy noticing that the voters in three states in the USA approved marriage equality for gays and lesbians by 3 to 6 percentage point margins. The voters in a fourth state rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for same-sex couples.
That is a major shift of the tectonic plates in public opinion on this issue, and of far more consequence for us in the USA than which gray head will wear the Canterbury miter.

Posted by Counterlight at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 1:23am GMT

I too wish Justin Welby well. However Rowan was encumbered with such expectations that he was always bound never to be able to live up to them. I hope that the new ABC doesn't suffer the same fate.

I would also note that since gay marriage is going to come to this country, probably sooner rather than later, opposing it seems a pretty short sighted thing to do even before you are installed in St Augustine's Chair. Is the church going to continue to oppose it when it's law? And what will it do about it then - excommunicate everyone who supports it or engages in it? Seems rather silly to nail your colours to the mast without thinking through the implications.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 9:27am GMT

"Oh, great. An Evangelical, former oil company executive, who opposes gay marriage. Just great."
- Kurt Hill -

Hold on, Kurt. +Justin may be a different sort of Evangelical. He is open to listening and learning from the experience of others - although he has said that he agrees with the C. of E. stance on 'Gay Marriage' - he accepts the idea of Same Sex Civil Partnerships (now ain't that something?) Also, he has pledged to 'Listen" - I expect, to 'what the Spirit is aaying to the Church! And he does value Women in the Church.

If you listen to his dealings at his very first press conference, in the guard-room of Lambeth Palace; he sounds pretty level-headed, and wants to encourage Unity in diversity. Now, this could be a help - rather than a hindrance!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 9:31am GMT

It remains to be seen, really.

He doesn't have much of a track record, so it's hard to know what will happen.

Few could have predicted Dr. Williams's pusillanimity in the face of unAnglican demands from reactionaries.

One thing Welby should do is be precise with his language. Although the Telegraph does not seem to have noticed, there is no such thing as an "Anglican Church."

Anglican Communion, yes. Anglican tradition, yes. Anglican family, yes. Church of England, yes.

Anglican Church, no.

Posted by Jeremy at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 1:42pm GMT

Entirely agree with Richard's second para. I'm sure +Justin has all the positives people say he has: it's that Evangelical smile I find hard to take.

Posted by John at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 1:48pm GMT

I think it is important to pray for Justin and give him a chance to open his mind and heart to the issues of women and the LGBT communities. Who knows, he could very well be one of our greatest Archbishops of Canterbury! Let's have faith in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this man will surprise all of us. Maybe he is more progressive and open minded than we may think. Let's pray for his success. Let's give this man a chance to show us what he thinks.

Posted by Chris Smith at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 5:53pm GMT

I hope that he approaches the international Anglican communion with enormous humility. We will only find unity by finding a place to respectfully and lovingly disagree. The "liberal" churches believe our stance on women and LGBT issues to be the result of a highly moral and conservative reading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So we are just as entrenched as those who cherry pick the Bible to support their traditional positions.

Most of all, the selection process for the ABC is so bizarre to US sensibilities, and probably many others as well, that it would be exceedingly cheeky for any ABC to try to assert institutional power, as Rowan did. And it'll be hard to forget how shabbily Rowan treated Gene Robinson and Katherine Jefferts Schori. There are some tender feelings out there. There are many in the US who feel that we can do without the ABC. I think it would be better to stay in communion, but not at the expense of throwing LGBT persons, and women, under the bus again.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 11:42pm GMT

Cynthia: I agree with you on every point you made. I totally respect the points you made. I believe we need to be cautiously optimistic by giving the new ABC a chance to show us where he stands on these important issues. I do believe every bishop should be elected locally and not "appointed" to posts. Lay people and clergy need to be able to choose their bishops. I think it is better for us to remain in Communion with each other. We have to talk to each other.

Posted by Chris Smith at Monday, 12 November 2012 at 2:07am GMT

So many active Anglicans, have, apparently, never been converted, and especially among the ordained. show a sad cynicism often. No amount of church politicking and gossip can fill that hole.

All power to Justin Welby's elbow !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Monday, 12 November 2012 at 3:24pm GMT

"I think it is better for us to remain in Communion with each other. We have to talk to each other."

Really? Why so?

And does the first sentence really follow from the second? After all, one does not have to be in a Communion with other Christians in order to talk with them.

I'm serious. Why, exactly, is it important, or even useful, for the TEC to remain in communion with Nigeria?

I can all too well understand why someone in London might want all the Anglican children to play nicely together. Such unity can further the parental prestige, and the ecumenical role, of the Church of England. And such unity salves wounded imperial pride.

But if one is not at the post-imperial center, then surely other considerations take precedence.

And at some point one has to conclude that bigotry is bigotry, and abuse is abuse.

Sometimes a family is so dysfunctional that the best course of action is to exit.

Posted by Jeremy at Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 12:21am GMT

Just as long as he is aware he has no authority outside the CofE and stays home when not invited, I wish him and his cure well.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at 5:46am GMT
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