The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, and Co-Chairman of ARCIC Three (the Anglican Roman-Catholic International Commission) issued a statement following the announcement on Friday, 9 November, that the Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, will succeed Dr Rowan Williams as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “I am delighted to hear the good news for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion that Bishop Justin Welby has been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
“This will be good news too for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, nationally and internationally, as the new Archbishop builds on the strong commitment and ecumenical legacy of Archbishop Rowan Williams.”
The Archbishop of Birmingham emphasised: “In Bishop Welby it will be good to have a strong ally in the work of evangelization that lies ahead of all the churches, especially during the Year of Faith when the Catholic Church is seeking an evangelization that is ‘new in its ardour, methods and expression’.
“Bishop Welby’s long experience of business and commerce suggests that he understands the contemporary context for the task of evangelizing our culture.”
Archbishop Bernard Longley concluded: “With my fellow Co-Chairman of ARCIC Three, Archbishop David Moxon (Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia), I look forward to the steer that Bishop Welby will bring to Anglican-Roman Catholic relations.
“I pray for the new Archbishop of Canterbury at the outset of his ministry at the heart of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.”
© Peter Jennings