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The new Archbishop of Canterbury, who has already dismayed evangelicals with his liberal views on homosexuality, has been accused of "idolatry" for encouraging devotion to the Virgin Mary in a new book.
Dr Rowan Williams, who was named as Dr George Carey's successor on Tuesday, has upset conservative evangelicals for appearing to condone the practice of praying to Mary, which many regard as contrary to Biblical teaching.
A High Church Anglo-Catholic, he says the book was inspired by his pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, Norfolk, which he describes as "England's Nazareth".
In the book, Ponder These Things: Praying with Icons of the Virgin, he argues that the images of the Mother and Child portrayed in medieval icons are holy because they stand on the boundary between the spiritual and the everyday.