Friday, December 28, 2007

Current Crop 'Not Right for Westminster'

Posted by Damian Thompson on 28 Dec 2007 at 10:51

More and more Catholic priests are coming to the conclusion that Pope Benedict must look outside the present hierarchy for the next Archbishop of Westminster.

Westminster Cathedral
The appointment of the next Archbishop could be crucial

I’m not saying that because I think the current bishops are mediocre, but because so many clergy – by no means all traditionalists – are quietly signalling their desire for a complete break with the past. I hear it wherever I go.

Here’s an email I received this morning from a non-partisan parish priest who has worked for the Bishops’ Conference:

"The bishops all play the same game. For the most part they want to look good in the eyes of Rome, and so they never say anything that would get them reported, but neither do they in any way support what comes from Rome.

"A great deal depends on who is appointed to Westminster. I hope very much that the Holy Father is making use of his own English contacts to sound out opinion here. I have been surprised to find a strong desire for a change even among priests I would have termed 1960/70s liberals. The need is for real leadership and a real sense that we are following the lead given by the Pope.

"I don’t think that any of present hierarchy (to use a word they don’t like) would fit the bill. I hope that the Nuncio is up to the task or that Rome will bypass him."

That’s a very, very interesting point about the Nuncio. But I’ll save my thoughts on him for another post.

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