Justin Welby is new Archbishop of Canterbury
London/Nevada, Mar 22 : Congratulating Most Reverend Justin Welby, 57, on his enthronement as the new 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in a ceremony at the Canterbury Cathedral in England on March 21, a US based Hindu group said it hopes that he would patronize interfaith dialogue in the world. Welby, a former oil executive, thus assumed the Church of England's most senior position and became spiritual leader of the about 77 million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion, replacing Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams, 62, who retired in December after ten years of service.
The Prince of Wales Charles and United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron attended the ceremony.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Friday, urged Welby to pioneer interfaith dialogue working together with various world religions and denominations on issues facing the humanity, as serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour.
This dialogue might also help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations, Zed noted.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that religion was a complex component of human life and dialogue helped us to see interconnections and interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines.
Religions should at least work together on common religious concerns like peace-making and peace-keeping, social and economic development, freedom and human rights, he said.
Zed commended carrying of one of the two enthronements first time in Church history by a woman at the ceremony and urged the Church to introduce women bishops.
Women could disseminate God's message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion, Zed argued.
They would pray for Welby on his taking new duties, he said.
Over 1.6 million people take part in a Church of England (headquartered in London) service each month, about 12 million people visit its cathedrals annually and it has over 19,500 licensed ministers. Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.