By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
London (CNN) – The Church of England named former oil executive Justin Welby as the next archbishop of Canterbury, making him the titular leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans.
Welby, who has been a bishop for only a year, is considered an outspoken critic of the excesses of capitalism, a supporter of women bishops and an opponent of gay marriage.
He will be enthroned as archbishop of Canterbury on March 21.
Speaking as his appointment was announced Friday at Lambeth Palace in London, Welby said it was a privilege to take the helm at a time when the "tide of events is turning" and the Church has great opportunities to be involved in a changing world.
London CNN) - It's not a career path followed by many. On Friday, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, a former oil executive, was confirmed as the next archbishop of Canterbury, and as such will become head of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion.
Although Welby has been a bishop for just less than a year, his experience beyond the pulpit may be what has given him the edge over his rivals for the top job.
He will take over from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who has headed the church for more than a decade, in March.
Welby faces the challenge of holding together an increasingly fractured Communion as it wrestles with the issues of homosexuality and women bishops, as well as tensions between the shrinking Western provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the United States and United Kingdom, and the exploding growth of the provinces in the Global South, many of them in Africa and Asia.
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
“It’s demography, stupid!” is the new mantra for analyzing the 2012 election, in which African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos cast their votes in overwhelming numbers for President Obama.
But religious diversity was another key theme. How so? Let me count the ways.
By Arielle Hawkins, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Romney’s loss closes out ‘Mormon moment’
Mitt Romney’s defeat appears to close out a years-long “Mormon moment,” a period of national fascination with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has also provoked Mormon disappointment; Romney would have been first Latter-day Saint in the White House, culminating a decades-long process of growing Mormon acceptance and influence.
Photo of the Day:
Photo Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
Exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks pray as they mourn those who died in protest against Chinese rule on November 08, 2012. One of the dead Wednesday was a 15-year-old monk, who set himself alight with two other monks in a majority Tibetan region of Sichuan Province, said the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. They cried "freedom for Tibet" and for the "return of the Dalai Lama." The other two monks, both 16, were hospitalized.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.