Cormac’s half-hour; Branching out; Designer habit; Irish enclave; Chad’s Christmas Premium

15 December 2016

Cormac’s half-hour
Having the ear of Pope Francis can pay dividends. It certainly did for Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor when, on a recent trip to Rome, he wrote to the Pope to ask him whether he could attend Francis’ private Mass at the Casa Santa Marta along with his extended family of 28 – his brothers’ children and grandchildren.

“Come here at 5’o’clock,” the Pope replied, “and I’ll say Mass for you and the family.”

“He was just lovely, he talked to the family after the Gospel – he doesn’t speak English very well, so spoke in Italian and said to me, ‘you’d better translate,’” the Cardinal recounted in a radio interview. “He said lovely things about me, about getting older – I’m now 84 – and said you grow wiser, you become more compassionate, and you have a sense of humour. It was lovely to be with the family and for them to see this side of the Pope.” The 30-minute interview for the Catholic radio station heavensroadfm is available online now and will be broadcast live on 17 December. Find out more at

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