Justin Welby

Church of England paves the way for women bishops

The Right Rev. Justin Welby. Photo: RNS courtesy Durham Cathedral

The Church of England’s governing body has approved new proposals that would allow women bishops to be ordained by this time next year.

Meeting in London on Wednesday, the church’s General Synod passed a motion by 378-8, with 25 abstentions, that paves the way for the endorsement of women bishops. Bishops also approved a declaration that sets out guidance for parishes that reject female consecrations.

The package would end nearly two decades of bitter and damaging conflict, and the vote is a victory of sorts for the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was appointed last year just as the General Synod came within six votes of allowing women bishops.

Archbishop of Canterbury Baptizes Britain’s Future King, Prince George

Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge leave the hospital with Prince George. Photo via RNS court. Flickr/Christopher Neve

Prince George is now officially named and an Anglican.

The 3-month old royal baby was christened Wednesday, ritually welcomed into the Church of England as Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, in a private ceremony for close family and friends in the historic chapel of a London royal palace.

His parents, Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge, grandparents, great-grandparents, and seven godparents looked on as the baby was baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in an antique silver font in the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace as a small scarlet-and-gold-clad choir sang hymns.

Archbishop Blasts British Energy Companies for Price Hikes

Right Rev. Justin Welby, bishop of Durham, was named the 105th archbishop of Canterbury. RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral

Less than three months after he promised to take on payday lenders and create alternative church credit unions, the archbishop of Canterbury condemned Britain’s energy companies for imposing huge price hikes that will hurt struggling families.

Justin Welby said over the weekend that the six most powerful energy supply companies have a “massive” moral duty beyond squeezing customers for maximum profits. The largest of them, British Gas, whose parent company is called Centrica, recorded a 2.7 billion pound ($4.37 billion) profit last year.

The archbishop — a former oil trader — challenged the company’s huge markup of around 9.2 percent.

Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury to Meet for the First Time

Photo Courtesy RNS.

Pope Francis waves from the pope-mobile during his inauguration Mass at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Photo Courtesy RNS.

Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will meet in Rome on Friday for the first time since the two men took office in March.

Francis was inaugurated as the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics on March 19, while Welby officially took over as Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion on March 21.

Some hope the meeting could put Anglican-Catholic relations on a firmer footing.

Non-Catholics Greet Pope Francis With Guarded Optimism

The Right Rev. Justin Welby will be installed as Archbishop of Canterbury

With the words “Habemus papam” — we have a pope — Roman Catholics had a new leader, and the wider world had a new ministry to watch.

The direction the new pope takes his flock is of great importance for committed Catholics, but the papacy is also closely watched by other faiths. The pope wields vast influence as the world’s most powerful moral leader and the public face of Christianity.

Leaders of other faiths appeared to embrace the selection cautiously, not unlike some Catholics themselves, offering prayers and congratulations, but also using the opportunity to lay out their own hopes for the new pontiff. Pope Francis of Buenos Aires, formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, emerged from the conclave as the first pope from outside Europe in modern times, the first Jesuit, the first from Latin America, and the first named Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, who dedicated his life to helping the poor.

Justin Welby Confirmed as New Archbishop of Canterbury

RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral

The Right Rev. Justin Welby was named the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral

LONDON — Justin Welby was confirmed Monday as the new archbishop of Canterbury at a centuries-old service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, six weeks before his formal enthronement inside Canterbury Cathedral on March 21.

Welby, 57, was a banker and oil executive before his ordination as a priest in 1992, and has served as a bishop for less than a year.

He takes over from Rowan Williams, 62, who returned to academic life at Cambridge University after a decade of turmoil throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion over questions of human sexuality and inside the Church of England over the role of women bishops.

The new archbishop had been the bishop of Durham in northern England for eight months when he was ordered by a still unnamed person in the Church of England to apply for the church’s top job.

Church of England Faces Backlash Over Rejecting Women Bishops

RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral

Bishop Justin Welby knocks at the doors of Durham Cathedral during his installation ceremony RNS photo courtesy Durham Cathedral

CANTERBURY, England — When the Church of England scuttled plans to allow women bishops on Nov. 20, incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called it “a very grim day for women and their supporters.”

Now, that grim day is turning into a church-state nightmare for Britain's established church.

On Monday, The Times of London quoted from a leaked memo to church leaders from William Fittall, secretary general of the General Synod, who called the public and political fallout "severe."

Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev. Justin Welby, Named New Archbishop of Canterbury

The Right Rev. Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham and the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images.

The Right Rev. Justin Welby, bishop of Durham in the U.K., has been named the new Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding the retiring Archbishop Rowan Williams as head of the Anglican Communion.

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