Archbishop with a down-to-earth style seeking constructive dialogue in the Church and secular spheres

16 January 2014 | by Christopher Lamb

On 22 February, Pope Francis will confer the cardinal’s biretta on the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, marking the high point in an ecclesiastical journey that has seen him at the centre of the Church in England and Wales since the mid-1980s, writes Christopher Lamb. For the football-mad teenager who contemplated his vocation while standing on the terraces at Anfield watching Liverpool, it has been quite a trip. A strong administrator, politically shrewd and with good pastoral instincts, Archbishop Nichols was in many ways the obvious choice to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor at Westminster in 2009 and, in turn, become president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Made general secretary of the bishops’ conference in 1984, he became

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