Ecumenical applause for the news of the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, November 18, 2012 p 5. November 21, 2012Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Justin Welby, Kurt Koch, Mark Wakelin, Olav Fykse Tveit, Vincent Nichols
Ecumenical leaders have warmly welcomed the news of the appointment of the Bishop of Durham to be the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
In Britain, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols said the Roman Catholic Church “warmly” welcomed the news, saying he believed the new archbishop “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,” he said.
The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales’ sentiments were shared by the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch. In his letter the Swiss cardinal described relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion as being “hugely important,” and expressed his certainty that under the new archbishop’s “leadership those excellent relations will continue to bear fruit.”
“For almost fifty years, as you are well aware, there has been a formal theological dialogue which continues to seek a deeper understanding of the great heritage shared by Anglicans and Catholics, as well as the points of divergence which still impede fully restored ecclesial communion. During that same time, relations between succeeding Popes and Archbishops of Canterbury have been marked by numerous meetings which have expressed intense spiritual and human friendship, and a shared concern for our Gospel witness and service to the human family,” wrote Cardinal Koch.
Dr. Mark Wakelin, President of the Methodist Conference of Great Britain, said “Bishop Justin has demonstrated himself to be a man of spiritual depth and wisdom. He has shown great passion and enthusiasm for working together with other Churches and we look forward to working with him in the context of the partnership between our two Churches.”
The General Secretary at the World Council of Churches, Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit of Norway said he was “especially heartened to learn of your long-standing commitment both to the international mission and work of the Church and to the importance of the ministry and work of reconciliation between different communities.”
“I particularly appreciate your engaged commitment with the people of Nigeria, and your deep desire to help to improve the lives of all people in that country, seeking ways to help them move beyond conflict, especially of an inter-religious nature,” the WCC leader said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.