Cardinal flies south

The Archbishop of Westminster is still in Rome today following an unplanned and as yet unexplained audience with the Pope yesterday. Speculation is currently running high that HE Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor may be preparing to end his time as head of the Church in England and Wales.

While His Eminence’s health has not been good for some time, it is believed that the added strain of the past few weeks may have moved him to offer his resignation.

In the last fortnight he has had to deal with Muslim protests outside the Cathedral as well as having to respond to the BBC’s Sex Crimes in the Vatican programme.

The Cardinal is not known to thrive in confrontational settings. Unfortunately, between radical Islam, the homosexual rights movement and medical ethics, it seems that the Catholic leadership of this country will become increasingly embattled. Strong leadership from the front is needed, and questions have persisted for some time about Cormac’s ability to voice the truth of the faith with the necessary force.

If the Cardinal is, and has been planning to resign, it would explain why Archbishop Vinnie Nichols of Birmingham took the lead in denouncing the Panorama programme last weeks. Archbishop Nichols has been seen as a possible sucessor to Cormac for some time, not least of all by himself.

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