Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So who will be next Archbishop of Westminster?

Today's issue of the Racing Post gives half a page to an article about the "contest" to succeed Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. The article is written by Simon Caldwell. They have a website, but articles are not available online unless you register.

Apparently a leading Irish firm of bookmakers have opened a book on this market; since firms of bookmakers are major advertisers with the Racing Post, the paper is never shy of rewarding them with publicity.

ARCHBISHOP Kevin McDonald of Southwark is a 7-2 favourite with Paddy Power to be the next Archbishop of Westminster following mounting speculation that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor could retire before Christmas.

Murphy-O'Connor, Britain's most senior Catholic cleric, is obliged to offer his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI when he turns 75 on August 24 next year.

Some reckon the Pope may ask him to serve another year, but rumours are also circulating that health problems could mean that Murphy-O'Connor may be asked to retire before the end of December.

The piece quotes Dr William Oddie, whom they describe as "former editor of The Catholic Herald": "(Peter) Smith should be shorter than 10-1. He is orthodox in his beliefs and has a better manner than most of the others. He is excellent at dealing with the media".

The bookies' own list of "candidates" reads:

7-2 Kevin McDonald (Archbishop of Southwark)
9-2 Alan Hopes (Aux Bishop of Westminster)
9-2 Aidan Nichols OP
5 Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Birmingham)
7 Michael Fitzgerald (Papal Nuncio in Egypt)
8 Patrick Kelly (Archbishop of Liverpool)
8 Arthur Roche (Bishop of Leeds)
10 Peter Smith (Archbishop of Cardiff)
12 Bernard Longley (Aux Bishop of Westminster)
14 Michael Evans (Bishop of East Anglia)
14 Timothy Radcliffe OP
16 Patrick O'Donoghue (Bishop of Lancaster)
20 John Rawsthorne (Bishop of Hallam)
25 John Crowley (Bishop of Middlesborough)


Blogger RBlaber said...

Timothy Radcliffe is far too liberal for this Pope, so I don't know what he's doing on the list. I know he was Prior General of the Dominican Order, and head of the English Province before that, but he would be a disaster!
I like Aidan Nichols for the job. Now there is a Dominican who is a true 'hound of God', as orthodox and authentically Catholic as they come.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 8:51:00 PM  
Blogger hilary said...

Who's your pick Joee? Or, more to the point, who would you least like to see. Tough choice for my "least favorite", but I think it's between Fitzgerald and Radcliffe. I did a blog post on Radcliffe's "invervention" at the Los Angeles Religious Education conference expressing my misgivings about the soundness of his theology.

BTW, funny you should ask for more on the dying religious orders issue. The Pointed Arches blog is all about religious life and I"ve been writing on it for some time. Scroll down.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Ed. said...

Michael Fitzgerald? I really doubt the Pope is going to make him Archbishop of Westmister, the man is in exile. The real insider bet is Bernard Longley.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 3:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this sheds some light:

Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger Joee Blogs said...

Hilary, I don't read this blog much, but maybe I'll post something on my own blog, of the ones I recognise, Longley or Hopes would appear the best bets to me.If you've got your finger on the pulse of English Catholicism it's well known the Bishop's Conference is weak. This is very well known and any half knowledgable Catholic knows this.
There are a few goodish bish boshes, but due to the structure of the Bishops Conference - an unusually large number of Bishops for a relatively small number of Catholics, and a majority of liberal minded Bishops, the sounder Bishops simply don't stand up and speak their mind as they fear being ostricised. One Bishop who is down here in the South, has testified to this phenomenon.
So Longley and Hopes, who are buddies, would be the best choice from the list as far as I know - although I have to admit some of hte names I don't know. Failing that how about making a requirement having a blog, in which case any of the Catholic Priest bloggers would be really great!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 4:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All on the list are pretty sad and spineless, we need an outsider, a Pell, at least someone not from Ecclesdon Square. Howabout Bruce Harbert, who is running ICEL, or one of the Faith priests? We at least need someone who agrees with the Church's teaching on Life issues. What a difference there is between Murphy-O'Connor and O'Brien.

Monday, October 16, 2006 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous ray b said...

I wonder why the new Birmingham auxilliary has been sent from Sweden - just a thought.

Saturday, October 21, 2006 1:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of those at 9-2, Nichols and Hopes, used to be Anglicans (Mgr Hopes used to be an Anglican minister if I am not mistaken). Isn't this likely to count against them?

I'd be delighted if Nichols, the friar, not Vincent, was appointed. Imagine, then we might have the deferred papal visit.

Saturday, October 21, 2006 3:41:00 PM  

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