Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh well

Today`s Mandrake column in the Daily Telegraph has the following interesting information:

Short list to succeed Cardinal Murphy O'Connor

By Tim Walker

Last Updated: 1:22am BST 26/04/2008

The candidates to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor as Archbishop of Westminster have been whittled down to three.

Mandrake hears that the names on the official list - the terna - are Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Peter Smith and Bishop Arthur Roche.

"It will disappoint those who were hoping for someone outside of the current crop of bishops," whispers my man at Archbishop's House.

"Benedict XVI is not, however, obliged to pick one of the names that Archbishop Faustino Munoz, the Papal Nuncio, submits to him so we will have to wait and see."

Traditionalists had hoped that the next archbishop would have been chosen, like Basil Hume, from outside the episcopacy of England and Wales and Mandrake understands that George Pell, the Australian cardinal, had been lobbying the Pope for such a move.

This led to speculation that either Abbot Hugh Gilbert, of Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, or Fr Aidan Nichols, a Dominican Friar, were in the frame.

The Most Rev Nichols, the Archbishop of Birmingham, considered the favourite, is supported by Lord Alton, while the Rt Rev Roche, the Bishop of Leeds, is backed by John Gummer, the Catholic convert MP.

The Most Rev Smith, the Archbishop of Cardiff, won admirers with his lobbying of parliament over legislation on euthanasia and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor is expected to stand down early next year


James M said...

Fr Nichols is kind, prayerful and a theological genius.

He is also committed to the re-conversion of England to her Holy Catholic Faith.

What a great gift of the Holy Spirit if Fr Nichols is selected! pray, pray, pray...

Fr Michael Brown said...

James, Fr Nichols would be my dream candidate. I`m reading his new book at the moment. It`s just that he is not on the terna and will Rome go outside of it or will it be more of the same?

Anonymous said...

Nichols would be great - as long as it's the right one! This may not be the first time Rome has got mixed up over English names!

However, I wouldn't read too much into this - rumours of the same terna have been around for a while - alongside rumours that the same terna has been rejected by Rome.

One can hope that if it was going to be one of the current bishops, the decision would have been announced some time ago. I live in hope (rather more than expectation) that an outsider will be chosen and the Holy Father will show his solicitous care for the real needs of our country. I have no doubt that he is very aware of the situation here.

Augustine said...

Fr Nichols would be fantastic, but I have heard that Abp. Nichols would be a decent second choice too.

SolNcl said...

It's always a breath of fresh air when an outsider gets the chance, and I have always been in favor of appointing monks/friars as bishops.

By the way - are there any news about the successor of late Bishop Kevin?

Fr Michael Brown said...

Solncl not a dickie bird about H & N. We wait to see. I doubt whether this diocese will be the one to break the mould of English episcopacy. Still it would be nice to have a bishop: the lack of one is stranger than I expected.

Alnwickian said...

The two names I have heard tipped for H&N are Bishop John Arnold, current auxiliary in Westminster, and Mgr Michael Kujacz, Rector of the English College Valladolid.

The strongest candidate from H&N itself is Mgr Andrew Faley but 'local' appiointments are unusual these days.

Anonymous said...

Well Bishop Arnold and Mgr Faley would fit the mould - part of the magic circle of bishops' conference elite. I doubt they'd bear much comparison to the late bishop, though.

However, my guess is that it's much too early to be speculating about H&N.

Fr Michael Brown said...

I agree there is not much to speculate about but I hope there are some cogs turning somewhere: the suspense is killing me!