03 April 2009

Good news from Westminster

No, not the city but the Roman Catholic archdiocese. I’ve just heard that Vincent Nichols, currently Archbishop of Birmingham, is to be the new Archbishop of Westminster. This has got to be a good thing for Roman Catholicism in England and Wales. I got to know him slightly at the end of the 1980s when he was Secretary to the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales and I was working for The Gospel and Our Culture.

Sections of the media have tried to portray him as ambitious and divisive, perhaps because he has had the courage to speak out against some of the shibboleths of contemporary secularism. By contrast, my memories of him are of a good listener, someone who is thoughtful, someone who has a gift for chairing difficult meetings and somehow bringing them to a constructive conclusion.

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