- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, ordained Fr Nicholas Hudson an Auxiliary Bishop for the diocese this morning. The ceremony was attended by the archbishop emeritus of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord (Rowan) Williams of Oystermouth. Bishop Hudson, a former rector of the English College in Rome, will have pastoral care of Central and East London.
Mgr Nicholas Hudson, 55, only this year took up a post as parish priest of Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, one of the largest parishes in Britain. The Archdiocese of Westminster has been short of auxiliaries following the appointments of Archbishop George Stack to Cardiff and Bishop Alan Hopes to East Anglia.
The need has become acute following the new responsibilities in Rome given to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols in recent months that take him away from the diocese. The Archdiocese of Westminster now has three auxiliaries, the other two being Bishops John Arnold and John Sherrington.
In a statement following the announcement that he was to be made a bishop, Mgr Hudson said in April that he hoped to emulate Pope Francis’ “radical simplicity and outreach to those on the margins of society and of the Church”. He added that the most precious gift he had received as a priest was knowing those with severe disabilities.
The Cambridge graduate was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Southwark in 1986 and has served as a director of the Southwark Christian Education Centre (now Centre for Catholic Formation). He moved to Rome in 2000 as vice rector of the English College and became rector in 2004.
Educated by the Jesuits at Wimbledon College, he was baptised at Sacred Heart, which was run by the Society of Jesus. Due to declining numbers, the Jesuits decided to hand over the running of the parish to the Archdiocese of Southwark last year. The archbishop, Peter Smith, appointed Mgr Hudson to the parish and he took up his post in January.