Archbishops Bernard Ntahoturi and Justin Welby • Lambeth Palace
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, former archbishop of the Anglican Church of Burundi, will be the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
In September he will succeed Archbishop David Moxon, who will retire in June.
Archbishop Ntahoturi, who led the Burundian church from 2005 until 2016, has been active in seeking peace in war-torn Burundi and the great Lakes region of Africa. He has represented Protestant churches of Burundi during negotiations that helped bring peace to Burundi. He also has extensive ecumenical experience and is chairman of the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith, and Order.
He serves on the Living Church Foundation, publisher of The Living Church.
“I am looking forward to continuing the work of the dedicated men who have held this post before me,” Archbishop Ntahoturi said. “I would like to strengthen those areas, especially in peace-building, where the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church can work together for a common witness.”
Born in 1948, Ntahoturi grew up in a small village in southern Burundi, the son of a poor farming family. After training at Bishop Tucker Theological College in Mukono, Uganda, he was ordained in 1973. He came to England to further his theological training at Ridley Hall and St. John’s in Cambridge, where he is now an honorary fellow, and then at Lincoln College, Oxford.
After his studies, he returned to Burundi and joined the civil service, becoming chief of staff to President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. After a military coup deposed President Bagaza, Ntahoturi was jailed from 1987 to 1990. In the 1990s he became provincial secretary of the Anglican Church of Burundi and was consecrated in 1997.
Archbishop Ntahouri already speaks English, French, Kirundi and Swahili, and plans to learn Italian.
“I am personally delighted that Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi has agreed to take up the joint post of Archbishop’s Representative to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome,” said Archbishop Justin Welby. “The appointment of a former primate to this post for the second time running demonstrates the importance I attach to developing the increasingly close relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church.”