‘Always time to see a priest’: Cardinal Cormac worked hard to get know his clergy

06 September 2017 | by Jim Curry

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor


The choice of Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to be their new Archbishop came as surprise to the clergy of Westminster. The position brings with it the presumption that you lead the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Cardinal Hume would be a hard act to follow. The clergy were attached to his memory, and some of them wondered whether Cormac would be up to the task.

We underestimated him. Our appreciation of his ability and skill sunk in gradually. Some of his early “moves” were not well received. While he did not give out his personal telephone number to members of the clergy, a priest would be phoned back immediately when a message was left with his private secretary.

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