Archbishop of Canterbury to retire in 2012: report

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is planning to quit next year, almost a decade before he officially has to retire, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The 61-year-old leader of the worldwide Anglican church plans to pursue a life in academia, the newspaper said, after a turbulent decade mired by rows over homosexual clergy and female bishops.

It said Williams would leave after the Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne in June 2012.

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace, the archbishop's office, refused to confirm or deny the report, telling AFP: "We would never comment on a matter like this."

The married father-of-two was appointed archbishop in December 2002 and is entitled to stay in the job until he reaches retirement at 70. His predecessor, George Carey, served 11 years before retiring at the age of 66.

Cambridge University, where Williams studied for his undergraduate degree in theology and later became a lecturer in Divinity and then a chaplain, is preparing to create a professorship for him when he retires, the newspaper said.

© 2011 AFP

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