The incoming head of the world's 77 million Anglicans has an unorthodox resume.
Justin Welby will probably be the first ever former oil industry executive to serve as Archbishop of Canterbury - the leader of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church.
The 56-year-old Welby is currently the Bishop of Durham in northeast England, but he became a man of the cloth relatively recently.
He has attributed his career change to a “sense of God’s calling” (there’s a surprise).
“I went kicking and screaming but I couldn’t escape it,” he said in a recent interview with Money Marketing.
Fr. Zuhlsdorf posted something interesting about this appointment:
Russian Orthodox Metropolitan’s grim letter to the new Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury
Here is the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion’s letter to the new Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury:
Dear Brother and Lord Bishop,
I would like to extend to you wholehearted congratulations on your election as Head of one of the oldest episcopal chairs founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury in the 7th century. [Problematic statement, that, since Anglican bishops aren't really bishops at all ... but let's go on.]
You have been entrusted with the spiritual guidance of the entire Anglican Communion, a unique [shrinking] union of like-minded people, which, however diverse the forms of its existence in the world may be, needs one ‘steward of God’ (Tit. 1:7) the guardian of the faith and witness to the Truth (cf. Jn. 18:37).
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Churches of the Anglican Communion are bonded by age-old friendly relations initiated in the 15th century. [! Indeed.] For centuries, our Churches would preserve good and truly brotherly relations encouraged both by frequent mutual visits and established theological dialogue and certainly by a spirit of respect and love which used to accompany the meetings of our hierarchs, clergy and ordinary believers [, and anti-papists].
[Watch this...] Regrettably, the late 20th century and the beginning of the third millennium have brought tangible difficulties in relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Churches of the Anglican Communion. The introduction female priesthood and now episcopate, the blessing of same-sex ‘unions’ and ‘marriages’, the ordination of homosexuals as pastors and bishops – all these innovations are seen by the Orthodox as deviations from the tradition of the Early Church, which increasingly estrange Anglicanism from the Orthodox Church and contribute to a further division of Christendom as a whole.
We hope that the voice of the Orthodox Church will be heard by the Church of England and Churches of the Anglican Communion, and good fraternal relationships between us will revive.
I wish you God’s help in your important work.
“May the God of love and peace be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11).
+Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk
A little grim, but, hey… who can deny that Anglicans are going off the cliff?
Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.