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Justin Welby Confirmed as
New Archbishop of Canterbury

BY TREVOR GRUNDY                                                                                     ©2013 Religion News Service

Justin Welby was confirmed on February 4 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.

At the end of a Confirmation of Election ceremony at St. Paul's, Welby took an oath of loyalty to the British monarch with the words, "I, Justin Portal Welby, elected Archbishop of Canterbury, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."

He also promised to promote "unity, peace ,and love" and to guide the church away from "error."

Until the 17th century, such legal/religious proceedings were conducted in Latin. On Monday, the service was led in English by the church's No. 2 official, Ugandan-born Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

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