,nat,/dailyglobe2/305/nation/Archbishop_of_Canterbury_retires+.shtml,/dailyglobe2/305/nation/Archbishop_of_Canterbury_retires-.shtml,,LONDON - Britain's George Carey, who rose from London's East End to become the most powerful figure in the Church of England, stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury yesterday after more than 11 tumultuous years in the job.,32,Strongly backed women priests,,A,Archbishop of Canterbury retires,11/1/2002,By Gideon Long, Reuters,>," name=HideFromBrowserForVerity> >
...ONDON - Britain's George Carey, who rose from London's East End to become the most powerful figure in the Church of England, stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury yesterday after more than 11 tumultuous years in the job.
tenure as leader of the world's 70 million Anglicans spanned the so-called "Decade of Evangelism."It started with a historic decision to allow the ordination of women priests and ends during an increasingly bitter war of words over church doctrine on homosexuality.Carey
, 66, passes the office to Archbishop Rowan Williams, currently archbishop of Wales, whose purported liberal views on gay priests have already raised the hackles of conservative Anglicans.
Williams takes over as archbishop-elect on Dec. 2; he
will be officially installed on Feb. 27 next year.
Carey's last major public appearance was last Friday at a multifaith memorial service in St. Paul's Cathedral attended by Queen Elizabeth for the victims of the devastating bomb blast on the Indonesian island of Bali.He led the funeral service for Britain's Princess Diana, divorced wife of Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, in Westminster Abbey, following her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Carey's time in office has been eventful. He
caused an outcry shortly after his
appointment as archbishop by describing opponents of women's ordination as "heretical."
In 1998, gay rights activists likened him to South Africa's apartheid leaders because of his
perceived orthodox views on the ordination of homosexual priests.
A year later, he
angered human rights activists by urging the British government to show compassion toward former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, then under house arrest near London.
But it is the ordination of women for which Carey's reign will be best remembered.The Church of England
voted to accept women priests in 1992, prompting several high-profile Anglicans to leave the church in protest.
initially won praise from many female church members, but some feel he
has since let them down.
On sexual issues, Carey
is largely seen as orthodox, contending in a recent interview with the Catholic weekly The Tablet that he
had "repositioned the Church of England
and the Anglican community back in the mainstream."
"I've stood foursquare within traditional Christian morality," he
said."That is where we are, that is where we ought to stay."
That stance has inevitably won support from more conservative elements in the church.
was born in 1935, the son of a hospital porter in London's poor East End.A student at King's College, London, he was the first archbishop of Canterbury in modern times who did not attend either Oxford or Cambridge University.
A father of four, he
plans to retire to Bristol, in southwest England, and write his
"I don't want to jump off one treadmill and on to another," he
told The Tablet."I've got to get on with my Christian life, because no Christian ever retires."
This story ran on page A32 of the Boston Globe
on 11/1/2002.© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company
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