The newly appointed leader of the world's Anglicans is a former oil executive who said his spiritual director was a Catholic monk, reports the Catholic News Service.
Bishop Justin Welby of Durham, who will become the new archbishop of Canterbury, did not name the monk, but told a London news conference over the weekend that he was influenced by both Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality.
He also told reporters that he would be voting in favour of the ordination of women as bishops when the General Synod - the Church of England's ruling body - will decide the matter at a two-day meeting beginning November 19.
Bishop Welby's appointment as the primate of England and the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion was announced on Friday following selection by the Crown Nominations Commission and approval of Queen Elizabeth II. His appointment will be confirmed with an election by the canons of Canterbury Cathedral.
The 56-year-old will be enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral March 21 in succession to Archbishop Rowan Williams, who leave the post in December.
Soon after the appointment was announced, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, issued a statement welcoming the appointment of the father of five who gave up a six-figure salary to be an Anglican cleric.
"I know that Bishop Welby will bring many personal gifts and experience to his new role," said Archbishop Nichols.
FULL STORY New Archbishop of Canterbury shaped by Catholics, favours women bishops (CNS)