In the next phase of his concerted campaign to replace Cardinal Cormac next summer, His Grace Vinnie “Knuckles” Nichols has attacked the government for attempting to impose its own moral order.
Following hot on the heals of his denunciation of the BBC and Education Secretary Alan Milburn, Archbishop Vinnie parked his battle bus in Birmingham Cathedral and used his festive homily on Christus Rex to berate the government for its “intense and at times aggressive reshaping of our moral framework.”
“Indeed the secular agenda seems to propose that all we need is the clarification of what is lawful. But that is not so! Those who are elected to fashion our laws are not elected to be our moral tutors. they have no mandate or competence to be so. And the wise among them would not wish it, either.”
While Archbishop McDonald of Southwark is widely tipped to move over the water following Cormac’s departure in July, the aggressive media campaign being mounted from Birmingham is making a difference.
There is likely to be a push for a more forceful character in SW1 after Cormac soft-spoken reign.
According to a source close to Birmingham cathedral, Archbishop Nichols sees a clear role for himself.
“He thinks the new Pope, and Nuncio for that matter, is going to be looking for a guy not afraid of speaking the truth. The Bishop wants everyone to know he’s up for the fight.”
While unabashed campaigning would be distasteful in the extreme, HG must be lauded for acting like a good and outspoken Bishop of the Church. By avoiding sordid self-promotion for orthodoxy and truth he has garnered many headlines and more than a few nods of approval.
While HG of Birmingham may or may not be fit for the throne of Westminster, he is setting a powerful example to the episcopate of this country.
If only more of them wanted Cormac’s job.