21 May 2015, The Tablet

An English Spring: memoirs

by Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, reviewed by David Goodall

CARDINAL ARCHBISHOPS, who tend to die while still in office, rarely have time, even if they have the inclination, to write an autobiography (Cardinal Heenan, who wrote two volumes before his death in 1975, was an exception). So the appearance of this one, by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, only relatively recently retired, still very much alive and still playing an influential and significant role in the life of the Church, is something of an event. A “cradle Catholic”, born into a doctor’s family with Irish roots, educated in England (at Prior Park) and at the Venerable English College in Rome, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor grew up and was ordained into the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, “a little too comfortable in its certainties, somewhat triumphalist an
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