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Church of England shuns reports of racially targeting next archbishop

London, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 ANI

London, April 23 (ANI): The Church of England has rubbished allegations that Dr John Sentamu, the next Archbishop of Canterbury, has slipped down to third place after the Bishops of Coventry and Norwich, according to bookmakers.

After the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams announced his retirement last month, Dr Sentamu emerged as the favourite to succeed him.

However, Dr Sentamu's closest supporters have previously claimed that critics were subjecting Sentamu to 'naked racism', the Daily Express reports.

Former aide Reverend Arun Arora, who is about to become the church's director of communications, said there was a major difference between the way Dr Sentamu was being portrayed and the way other bishops are being treated.

His allegation of an 'anonymous whispering' campaign against Dr Sentamu has the potential of hugely damaging the church.

At its best, the besmirching of John Sentamu has revealed that strand of snobbery that views outsiders as lacking class, diplomacy or civility, in other words 'not one of us'

The row intensified after two bishops, on condition of anonymity, had criticized Dr Sentamu for his African birth.

"I think there are the people who are not quite sure that he is suitable in terms of the way he behaves because he is quite tribal and the African chief thing comes through," one bishop claimed.

While another said that Sentamu retained his African views and approach.

"There is a comprehensive process for selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury, details of which are available online, and involves an extensive consultation process," a Church's spokesman said. (ANI)

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