London: The next Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr John Sentamu, is being subjected to ``naked racism`` by critics, one of his closest supporters has claimed.
Former aide Reverend Arun Arora, who is about to become the church`s director of communications, said that there was a major difference between the way Dr Sentamu is being portrayed and the way other bishops are treated.
His allegation of an ``anonymous whispering`` campaign against Dr Sentamu has the potential of hugely damaging the Church, The Telegraph reports.
Dr Sentamu has spoken about his experience of racism in the past, stressing that any abuse comes from outside the church.
Two bishops, on condition of anonymity, have criticised Dr Sentamu for his African birth.
"My preferred candidate would be [the Bishop of] Norwich, who is very level-headed, sensible and would actually do the job well, and has a lot more kind of stability. You wouldn’t know where you were with Sentamu, whereas you would with Norwich," one of the bishops said.
The second bishop, who is retired, said Dr Sentamu`s African background was apparent in his understanding of issues of human sexuality, adding that the archbishop has opposed government proposals for same-sex marriage.
However, Dr Sentamu, a former barrister and judge, has campaigned against racism.
Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, was born in Uganda and is the only black bishop in the Church of England.