New Archbishop of Canterbury blasts Disney

Praises 'Simpsons,' 'Father Ted'

LONDON — The newly-appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Church worldwide, has controversially condemned the influence of Disney on children’s lives.

In his forthcoming book, “Lost Icons,” Dr. Rowan Williams, presently the Archbishop of Wales, criticizes modern consumer culture for exploiting children through marketing, and singles out Disney for having “developed this to an unprecedented degree of professionalism.”

In the book, which is being serialized in The Times newspaper, Williams also rails against TV shows such as ITV’s talent contest “Tot Stars,” which he says creates “pressure on the child to be a sexual subject,” in particular girls.

But in surprising contrast, Williams describes “The Simpsons,” — more typically on the receiving end of establishment disapproval — as “one of the most subtle pieces of propaganda around in the cause of sense, humility and virtue.”

He as well decribes Father Ted, the main character in the classic Channel 4 sitcom of the same name that mercilessly satirizes the Catholic Church, as one of his heroes.

Williams, 52, was named Archbishop of Canterbury by Downing Street Tuesday, replacing Dr. George Carey. He will take up the position later in the year.