CANTERBURY, July 23, 2002 ( - The new Archbishop of Canterbury, titular head of Anglicans worldwide, was named today by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The appointment of Dr. Rowan Williams was dreaded by some conservatives wary of his dissent from his predecessor, Dr. George Carey, on homosexuality and the remarriage of divorced persons in the church but at the same time praised by some pro-lifers.  The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), welcomed the choice of “a life-member of the Society” as Archbishop. John Smeaton, national director, said: “We are delighted to see that someone of such positive pro-life views…  the example he gives of Christian witness to the sanctity of human life whether unborn or born will inspire other Anglicans throughout the world to recognise that society must foster a loving and supportive environment for the weakest and most vulnerable of the human race.”  Also on the positive side, Williams has attacked the corruption and premature sexualisation of children by a consumer society and singles out the Disney Corporation as one of the worst offenders.

On the other hand, Williams’ views on homosexuality remain a concern to some. Richard Kirker, an Anglican cleric who is general secretary of the “lesbian and gay Christian” movement, said: “For the first time lesbian and gay Anglicans can feel they have a real friend at Lambeth. “Under his leadership homophobia will be challenged and intolerance rooted out.”  For SPUC commentary see:   For coverage of Williams’ attacks on Disney in The Times see:,,2-363060,00.html

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