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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 16:08 GMT
Williams confirmed as Archbishop
The new Archbishop meets children outside St Paul's Cathedral
The Archbishop is looking forward to challenges ahead
Dr Rowan Williams has officially become the Archbishop of Canterbury at a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The former Archbishop of Wales underwent his formal "confirmation of election" on Monday to become leader of the Church of England worldwide.

The ancient ceremony was presided over by the Archbishop of York Dr David Hope, with eight senior Bishops.

Dr Williams made the oath of allegiance to the Queen and the declaration of assent to the historic "formularies" of the Church of England.

He said afterwards it had been "very humbling" to be placed in such a historic and important position.


I seek to meet this new challenge... with hope, with joy and with enthusiasm

Dr Williams
"I pray for God's guidance as I seek to meet this new challenge - a challenge I face with a sense of inadequacy but also with hope, with joy and with enthusiasm," he said.

Dr Williams and his family will move from Wales to Lambeth Palace later this month, for a period of "rest, retreat and preparation".

He will not take up his public duties until after his enthronement in Canterbury in February.

The ceremony was the second stage in the process of appointing the successor to Dr George Carey, who ended his 11-year stint in October.

Women bishops

Ahead of the ceremony, the 52-year-old risked conservative ire by speaking out for homosexuality.


He is going to be good for us but it is not going to be comfortable

Bishop of Southwark
"It seems to me rather sad, and rather revealing, that when it comes to sex we suddenly become much less intelligent about our reading of the Bible," he said in a BBC profile on Sunday.

"If the Bible is very clear - as I think it is - that a heterosexual indulging in homosexual activity for the sake of variety and gratification is not following the will of God, does that automatically say that that is the only sort of homosexual activity there could ever be?

"My own personal conclusion is that I can see a case for acknowledging faithful same sex relationships."

Dr Williams also criticised the pomp and circumstance of the Church.

He said the Church was too interested in status and titles.

'Firm and holy'

Dr Williams has also said the Church must get to grips with the even more divisive issue of ordaining women as bishops.

The Bishop of Southwark, the Right Reverend Tom Butler, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme Dr Williams would not "fudge" on important issues.

He said: "I think he will be a firm and holy leader.

"He is going to be good for us but it is not going to be comfortable."

Bishop Butler said Dr Williams would face disagreements but would have to "play himself" into the role first.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Robert Piggott
"His radical views have made him a catalyst for conflict"
Tom Butler, Archbishop of Southwark
"He's a man who won't fudge issues"
Archbishop Cyril Okoracha, Nigerian Archbishop
"The main controversial issue around Dr Williams' appointment was that... he knowingly ordained practicing homosexuals"

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