- (Photo: Reuters/John Stillwell/pool)
The Most Rev. Justin Welby, who recently baptized Prince George, said he is free to become a Buddhist if he chooses so later in life, but stressed the relationship he needs to develop with Christ to his parents during the christening.
"He's perfectly entitled to be that and we'll cross that bridge if we ever get to it, who knows?" the Archbishop of Canterbury responded to a question from Channel 4 News about what will happen if one day Prince George decides to become a Buddhist.
"That's going to be a very long time in the future," he added. "We have a hugely multicultural society which is one of the fun bits of society. I find this the most intriguing and fascinating society to live in."
On Wednesday during the baptism at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace in London, however, Welby told the parents, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, that their son needs to begin a journey with Jesus.
"Jesus tells his disciples to let people come to him. To do that they have to be outward looking, in touch with the world, welcoming, generous-spirited, alive with the life of the Christ to whom they will introduce all who come," the archbishop said at the ceremony, attended by close relatives of the royal couple, including Queen Elizabeth II.
The Anglican Communion leader added that as a Christian, the 3-month old Prince George "is to share the life of Christ which is in him, regardless of whom he meets, their faith or nature or habits, so that others find life. That sharing may be in words, or generous actions - most likely both - but it will be both very costly and infinitely rewarding."
He also reminded the parents that Jesus centered the commands on himself: "He is the only place to go to for the resources George will need so that he is everything he can be, so that he becomes most fully the person God has created him to be. Without me, says Jesus, you can do nothing."
Welby encouraged the parents to teach Prince George how to pray and tell him about Jesus, to speak of Him and read stories about Him.
"For life to be complete, the living and trusted love of Jesus Christ is the foundation. That is something we grow into, live out, hold onto, and which finally carries us home," the Archbishop continued.
"With Christ and his love as our center, all the needs we meet are faced, all the hopes we have are shaped, and all the possibilities of our life journey are fulfilled."