Archbishop Vinnie “Knuckles” Nichols stepped up his campaign to succeed Cardinal Cormac today.
Using his position as head of the Catholic Education Service, His Grace wrote the lead editorial in the Daily Telegraph in which he launched a scathing criticism of the new government faith schools policy.
In it he accused the government of acting without consultation, of robbing schools of the right to admit their own pupils and of “ignoring the reality” that Catholic schools are the most diverse and socially cohesive in the country.
He went on to say that the government “cannot expect co-operation or respect” and that the forced admission of other faith pupils was a “Trojan horse, bringing into Catholic schools not only those reject its central vision but oppose it.”
HG then went on to promise to make clear his feelings in a meeting with Education Secretary Allen Johnson tomorrow.
As has been recorded in the Club archive, this new policy rides roughshod over the rights of those funding and attending these schools, is a naked attempt to secularise faith education and represents the latest in a long line of Labour social engineering projects.
The RCC applauds the Bishop for taking a firm stand for Catholic schools and wholly endorses his views.
However, the Archbishop is increasingly seeming to use his position to launch a campaign for his own advancement.
It is interesting that this is the second time this month that Bishop Vinnie has taken the lead role in condemning the government and upstaged the Cardinal.
It is now widely reported around the Cathedral that the Cardinal will not be staying on following his birthday this summer, for reasons of health. It is also widely believed he is only in post now because of a lack of a suitable successor.
Archbishop Knuckles is known to be fiercely ambitious and, according to one source close to Birmingham Cathedral, “certainly not above a bit of campaigning”.
HG has become the most outspoken member of the English episcopate in recent months and is known to see himself as something of a man of destiny. He is also known to be almost allergic to pastoral involvement in his diocese.
Said our source, “Well, he certainly likes to talk about Catholic education, new initiatives, spreading the faith and so on. He just never seems to get around to doing anything.”
Whatever his faults, the Archbishop is the only voice speaking out. Actions may speak louder than words, but words trump silence every time.