Archbishop Nichols Named Cardinal…

Archbishop Nichols Named Cardinal…



Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, is to be created a Cardinal by Pope Francis on 22nd February.

Surprised, anyone?

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Comments (42)

  • editor

    To refresh our memories, and in a spirit of “seeing (and hearing) is believing” I thought I’d post the infamous TV discussion in which Archbishop Nichols most scandalously betrayed his office: it’s unthinkable that he is now being rewarded for his dissent by being further promoted.

    January 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    • Lily

      I well remember that TV discussion. It was absolutely disgraceful to hear a Catholic archbishop say he supported civil partnerships (and the other English bishops) and all the rest of the stuff he said.Judas Iscariot personified, I’m sorry to say.

      January 12, 2014 at 10:59 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    This appointment of Archbishop Nichols is extremely disconcerting. We have a man who supports civil partnerships, despises traditionalists and the TLM- and told opponents of the Soho Masses to ‘hold their tongues’. He is clearly not a true Catholic. I don’t even think O’Connor or Hume went that far, although they did accept the ‘love’ between two men. I’ve no problem with celibate homosexuals receiving Communion, but these were Masses for couples, who we cannot be sure are celibate and who used the Masses as a platform to denounce Church teaching.

    Nichols is appointed, yet a faithful Archbishop, like Monsignor Leonard, who is an ultraconservative and celebrates the TLM regularly and opposes abortion etc. This says more about Francis’s so far disastrous Pontificate than anything else.

    January 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      On the contrary, we can be very sure that those couples were not celibate. That was the whole point of the Masses – they were not for those with “homosexual inclination” seeking to be faithful to the Church’s teaching. They were used, quite openly, as a platform to express dissent from the moral law on homosexuality and their tearoom afterwards doubled as a bookshop were homosexual literature was available.

      So, make no mistake about it; the Soho Masses were provided for homosexual people who thought there was/is nothing wrong with homosexual activity. The Bidding Prayers were routinely political in this respect, and the behaviour of those in the pews was – I am reliably informed by eye-witnesses – nothing short of utterly diabolical.

      January 12, 2014 at 7:22 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        In your first paragraphy you basically regurgitated what I said- we are in agreement!!!

        January 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    Catholic Convert

    Just because you “cannot be sure” someone isn’t committing some sort of sin is not grounds for withholding Holy Communion.

    Priests are given many graces however I’m not sure that includes psychic ability!!!!!!

    January 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I’m afraid you are mistaken because in the USA a Priest named Father Marcel Guarnizo refused Communion to a Lesbian at her mother’s funeral, after the Lesbian went into the Sacristy and announced to Fr Guarnizo that she was a Lesbian and the woman with her was her ‘lover’. Tell me the difference between what this woman did and what the homosexual couples did and the Soho Masses? If I went somewhere to that effect for that purpose then you can be sure that person is my lover.

      January 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm
      • Vianney

        Not only was this woman a lesbian but it turned out later that she isn’t even a Christian let alone a Catholic. She’s a Buddhist.

        January 13, 2014 at 12:18 am
      • chasdom

        At last, the truth behind the facts. Rather refreshing on here!!! Makes a change from the hysterical ranting’s of others who seem to be incredibly obsessed by sex and sexuality. The woman concerned was professing a different faith, therefore not permitted to receive communion. Her sexuality was of no relevance. Lets have more examples of the truth rather than the made up imaginings of a few hysterical people who seem to lack the ability of independent thought. for once well done Vianney for correcting the bigotry and ignorance displayed in other posts!!!!

        Ed: you are – yet again – completely confused, Chasdom. The woman was a Lesbian and a Buddhist but she set out to cause mayhem by pretending she was a Catholic and told the media that she had been denied Holy Communion at her mother’s funeral because she was living with a Lesbian partner – read this report Vianney was merely underlining her dishonesty.

        January 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm
      • CHASDOM


        Ed: rest of this post removed due to breach of house rules.

        The lesbian lady in question took her lesbian partner into the sacristy to challenge the priest about allowing her Holy Communion. She misled him into believing she was a Catholic and appeared on TV in the States all over the place, acting like the wounded soul and causing the priest terrible trouble for doing nothing more than his duty. Google to read the whole story since you’ve obviously ignored the information already provided here. I think she was a tad embarrassed when the media revealed that she wasn’t a Catholic at all, but a Buddhist. So add “deceitful” if not “deliberate liar” (didn’t she know she was a Buddhist?) to “lesbian”. Not a nice lady. Couldn’t trust her to take your granny across the road.

        January 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm
      • Vianney

        Chasdom, I pointed out that the lady wasn’t a Catholic but that doesn’t mean I condone her lifestyle. She claimed to the media that she was refused Communion because she was a lesbian but she omitted to point out that she was a Buddhist and as such should never have presented herself for at the Altar. The priest didn’t refuse her Communion primarily because she was a lesbian, he refused, firstly, because she wasn’t a Catholic, and secondly, because she was a lesbian in a relationship. There are many lesbians and homosexuals who receive Communion but they do so because they are celibate.

        January 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      I suppose it’s possible a gentleman or lady might wander in to Farm Street Mayfair with the innocent intention merely to assist at Mass, oblivious to the fact it was an LGBT Mass. Poor Soul. So you’re right, the priest cannot judge.

      Actually, no, you’re being ridiculous. Nobody goes to a Gay Mass accidentally. They go there because they are missing the mark in terms of God’s plan for human sexuality (and that’s a very, very charitable way of putting it). You don’t need psychic abilities to know that. We can judge that the Holy Communions in this Mass are normatively sacrilegious. This is why there was (still is?) a prayer group for reparation outside St Gregory’s Soho when the Mass took place there.

      January 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm
    • editor

      Nolite Timere,

      On the contrary, we can be very sure that the people attending those Soho Masses were in a state of objective mortal sin – they made no secret of the fact that they were actively homosexual and, as you know, all sexual activity outside of marriage constitutes grave sin which kills the life of grace in the soul and, unrepented, can take a soul to Hell. To be routinely committing one of the four sins that “cry to Heaven for vengeance” (such is the disordered nature of homosexual activity) should have led Archbishop Nichols to close down those Masses (if Masses they really were – I doubt they could possibly have been valid Masses) much sooner than he eventually did and to thank those, like Daphne McLeod and the members of Pro Ecclesia, for their efforts to help those attending the Soho Masses to turn back to God. Instead, he told them – on national TV – to hold their tongues.

      You are right of course in that priests are not given psychic ability. They are, however, given certain responsibilities to protect both the Blessed Sacrament from sacrilege and souls from damnation. Not a lot of them appear to wish to risk unpopularity by enforcing the “rules” (have you ever known Canon 915 to be invoked?) but the grace (as you intimate) is there for those who choose to do their duty.

      January 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      I heard that a few extraordinary priests who have been made saints had supernatural extra sensory perception, for example Padre Pio could literally smell if someone was in mortal sin, I read somewhere. Does anyone know what this is called?

      January 13, 2014 at 1:29 am
  • crofterlady

    The end is nigh…….

    January 12, 2014 at 7:37 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    Catholic convert

    I am well aware of the Fr Guarnizo situation. However in that situation the priest concerned was sure that the person was not leading a celibate life as they themselves told Father before Mass.

    That was a case where the priest was sure of the situation. My point is that if the Priest “cannot be sure of the situation” then he cannot refuse communion. If this was the case then communion could never be distributed at any Mass as I would imagine that, without prior knowledge, a priest cannot be sure that any of the communicants are without sin.


    I don’t disagree and the Soho masses were indeed an outrage, however you cannot be certain that everyone attended were in a state of objective mortal sin. I would imagine that there were many who were, but only God, as you are more than aware, knows the disposition of ones soul.

    January 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm
    • Lily

      But if they are openly saying they believe in homosexual activity and are entering civil partnerships that means objective mortal sin, doesn’t it? I don’t think that’s judging the disposition of the soul, because it’s not saying there actually is a mortal sin. The scandal that is caused by people going to Holy Communion who are living in these states of public sin, is very offensive to God and that’s really why the priests shouldn’t allow it.

      January 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      If a Priest cannot be sure whether, in this case, a homosexual is non-celibate, then for decency’s sake and to save himself from sin, the Priest should surely withold Communion?

      January 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        This is not something we can make decisions about in individual cases. The Soho Masses were exceptional because they were started specifically to cater for homosexuals opposed to Catholic teaching, most of whom, if not all, were living in “partnerships”. That’s why the Masses should never have been allowed in the first place.

        Speaking generally, it is up to the priest to speak to people privately and advise them not to approach for Holy Communion if they are living in a public counter-witness situation.

        I’ve seen an SSPX priest say quietly to someone holding out their hand for Holy Communion: “on the tongue or not at all” so if those priests can see the importance of protecting the Sacred Species in a matter of liturgical abuse (institutionalised or not) then it should not be too difficult for any other priest to have a word with individuals who are in situations where they are cohabiting/civil partnerships, since they are defying, not “merely” a liturgical rubric but a divine commandment. And any priest who does not deal with that as professionally as possible, preferably before the people present for Communion, certainly a second time, shares in the guilt of the sin. If we facilitate, in any way, the sin of another, we share in his/her guilt.

        January 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm
  • chasdom

    Absolutely delighted on the appointment of His Grace Archbishop Nichols to His Eminence Cardinal Nichols. A true leader of the Catholic Church in Britain. Now you dissenters really will have to hold your tongues. May be one day HE will be elected to the Petrine Office and continue the work being done by Holy Father Francis.
    Let us all join in a Rosary Crusade in both thanksgiving and support for the new responsibilities which the new cardinal must now endure DEO GRATIAS. OUR LADY OF FATIMA PRAY for him

    January 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm
    • Vianney

      Well let’s just get one thing straight here, Archbishop Nichols is NOT and never will be the leader of the Catholic Church in Britain because there is no such thing as a British hierarchy. He will not have any authority in Scotland. Officially he will be the leader of the Church in England and Wales but most Welsh Catholics I know regard the Archbishop of Cardiff as their leader.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:16 am
      • Lily


        I’ve always understood that every bishop has authority in his own diocese/archdiocese so Archbishop Nichols has authority in Westminster and that would be true also when he becomes Cardinal, but no authority over the other bishops. No bishops has authority over another diocese. I think this calling them head of the church in the UK is a media thing, or possibly due to the introduction of bishops conferences.

        January 13, 2014 at 10:40 am
      • Vianney

        Lily, you are correct that a bishop has authority in his own diocese but every country has a Primatial See and the bishop of that see is regarded as the leader of the Church in that country. In Canada it’s Quebec, USA it’s Baltimore, Netherlands it’s Utrecht and in England it’s Westminster and in Scotland it’s St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The British media has a tendency to think that Westminster is for the whole of the UK but are wrong because the hierarchy of Scotland and England are totally separate. Many years ago when Archbishop MacDonald was the Archbishop of Edinburgh he apparently wrote a strong letter to the BBC pointing out that the Archbishop of Westminster was not the head of the Church in Britain as they claimed. I also remember a few years ago a friend telling me about some English visitors attending Mass in Scotland and were horrified to discover it was in Gaelic. After Mass they cornered the priest complaining and saying that Mass was supposed to be in the vernacular. When the priest pointed out that Gaelic was the vernacular for his parishioners they said that English was the vernacular in Britain and they were going to write to Cardinal Heenan to complain. The priest told them that they would be wasting their time as he had no authority in Scotland which didn’t go down well with the visitors who were adamant that he was the head of the Church in Britain. They did write to the Cardinal who told them exactly the same thing as the priest had told them.

        January 13, 2014 at 11:54 am
    • catholicconvert1

      You will be Chasdom. In fact I would have been disappointed had you not come on here and started to spout your vitriol against Catholic Truth. A so-called catholic who supports a so-called Archbishop who supports so-called ‘gay love’.

      January 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  • leprechaun

    God moves in mysterious ways/His wonders to perform . . .

    . . . but Vincent Nichols Cardinal? /Can that be the norm?

    We are certainly living in interesting times!

    May Our Lady grant us all the patience and the charity that we need to stay the course – Final Perseverance I think it is called.

    January 13, 2014 at 9:59 am
  • wendy walker

    Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 16:33:21 +0000 To:

    January 13, 2014 at 11:48 am
  • gabriel syme

    I am not delighted by this, Nichols has hardly set the heather on fire since arriving at Westminster. Apparently he was previously a very effective Bishop when responsible for Birmingham – so I am told – but has been something of a non-entity in Westminster. It seems strange to raise him up again, when he is scarcely adequate (if at all) in his current role.

    Like many modern Bishops, he seems to favour taking the path of least resistance – I think that sums up his performance with the soho masses. Also, he seems terrified to articulate anything approximating Catholic doctrine, in anything approximating a robust manner.

    I think its fair to say that this is a “for show” appointment, in that the attitude is that “Oh, yes, Westminster should always have a Cardinal” and this applies regardless of whether the specific Bishop is competent or hair-brained.

    This kind of appointment should be scrapped and only those competent for ‘promotion’ should be selected. Honestly, if Mr Bean was the Archbishop of Westminster, you can bet he would be getting a red hat.

    This type of “jobs for the boys” appointment is akin to the ambitions / careerism which Pope Francis has spoken again, in that the appointment is being made based on the who and the where – and, no doubt, who has the best connections behind the scenes – not on the personal record of the Bishop himself. Again we see a disconnect between what Francis says and what he does. (just like when he speaks against legalism and advocates mercy, and then proceeds to brutalise the FFI in a petty, legalistic and merciless way).

    I am quite surprised by Damian Thompsons take on it. Previously a fierce critic of Nichols, his article is very neutral, gentle even:

    He says that one Cardinal has described Nichols as being “hard to read”. That’s because he doesn’t advocate Catholic doctrine, but rather bides his time and then selects the route of least resistance, as before. Before the easy option becomes obvious to him, you don’t know what he thinking, because even he doesn’t know what hes thinking yet.

    And yet maybe this news will indeed be a fresh start for Nichols, as Thompson wonders. I think Gerhard Mueller (who also gets a red hat) has been better at the CDF, compared to the initial expectations of many, so maybe its true that new responsibility can “buck people’s ideas up”.

    I thinks its shame that ++Leonard of Brussels has not been selected (hopefully next time). Hes much better than Nichols and light years ahead of his appalling predecessor, Godfried Daneels.

    January 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Thoroughly thoughtful post which hits a few nails on the head.

      About Damian Thompson, though – I am surprised you think he was a fierce critic of Archbishop Nichols. I recall him arguing that he should have been given the red hat as a reward for his organising of the last papal visit (at least I hope it’s the last papal visit).

      And you are completely spot on with this observation:

      “Again we see a disconnect between what Francis says and what he does. (just like when he speaks against legalism and advocates mercy, and then proceeds to brutalise the FFI in a petty, legalistic and merciless way).”

      Got it in one, Gabriel Syme – got it in one!

      January 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Hi Editor:

        About Damian Thompson, though – I am surprised you think he was a fierce critic of Archbishop Nichols.

        I always thought Thompson’s “magic circle” back-handers were aimed mostly at Murphy-O’Connor and his protege Nichols.

        I thought the English Episcopate had turned a corner with the appointments of +Davies and +Egan, but now Nichols has a red hat and is in the Congregation for Bishops. Bah!

        January 13, 2014 at 3:36 pm
      • editor

        Well, let me put it this way, Gabriel Syme: you’ll never read Damian Thompson supporting the priest on this Gloria TV news broadcast, who is calling for homosexuality to be re-instated as a criminal offence.

        The other items are also very interesting, not least the first one about Pope Francis’ method of choosing these new cardinals – entirely, it seems, his own decision, his own preferred candidates.

        January 13, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    • Frankier

      `because even he doesn’t know what he’s thinking yet.`

      Or, as someone once said, `even he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.`

      January 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Just as its interesting to note how the global media attempt to ‘spin’ Francis, its interesting to see how homosexual activists are attempting to ‘spin’ Nichols getting his red hat.

    First, we have Terence Weldon of the Soho masses crowing about Nichols pro-homosexual, anti-catholic record and claiming that “LGBT Catholics should be grateful that we now have a friend in high places.”

    Yet, at the same time, reports on the “anti-gay marriage” Nichols and goes on to list anything that he has done which is even halfway conservative.

    On one hand, homosexuals are calling Nichols a “friend in high places”, on the other they present him as an opponent.

    These situations are, obviously, mutually exclusive and demonstrates the schitzophrenic, incoherent nature of the homosexual lobby.

    You could sum up the situation by saying that Nichols has made concessions on behalf of the Soho mob, but has not received credit for it among homosexuals. Accordingly, Nichols, attempting to make life easy for himself by bending the rules for people, has in fact engineered a lose-lose situation for himself – and, accordingly, the Catholic Faith.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm
  • gabriel syme

    And here is damning evidence of why Nichols should not be getting the red hat – why, indeed, the English Episcopate should receive a rocket:

    “This week it has been reported that Mass attendance in England and Wales continues to decline from 985,000 in 2001 to 849, 200 in 2012.”

    This ongoing slump is even despite the Polish immigration in recent years etc.

    Just a thought, but perhaps if Catholic leaders in England and Wales espoused Catholic doctrine clearly and robustly – instead of always seeking compromise with the world – they might find the numbers stop going down.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    • Josephine

      Gabriel Syme,

      You are so right about those figures stopping going down if the bishops were actually “espousing Catholic doctrine clearly and robustly”. There would be a real turnaround for the better. However, if Catholic Truth is right, then they don’t actually believe Catholic doctrine themselves so can hardly espouse it robustly, more’s the pity.

      One thing that keeps surprising me is how that deacon is being allowed to run his blog and criticise the way he and his bloogers do (Protect the Pope blog). I wonder what’s going on there.

      January 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm
      • gabriel syme


        That was an interesting question about the blogging Deacon!

        I checked out the “about” section and he says:

        “Rev Nick Donnelly is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Lancaster, and an author for the Catholic Truth Society. He holds a BA Divinity in Theology and a Masters in Spiritual Formation. Protect the Pope is a private initiative and is in no way officially associated with the Diocese of Lancaster.

        Maybe the disclaimer in bold gives him freedom of action?

        January 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm
      • Josephine

        Gabriel Syme,

        That would explain it up to a point, but I’m still surprised they’ve let him be so openly critical. I think it’s a great thing, because once they (governments) put the boot in and make it impossible to have real free speech, blogs will be the first thing to be attacked. I guess he knows that and is saying as much as possible while he still can. Good on him!

        January 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I think those stats are inaccurate. I have been in touch with the Bishop’s Conference in England and Wales, and they told me their statistic was 885,169. I think that different agencies have different stats.

      January 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm
  • greatpretender51 January 18, 2014 at 12:14 am
    • editor


      A load of baloney with bells on. Notice the emphasis on Archbishop Nichols being one of those “grounded in the teachings of the Council”. No explanation of what that means, notice, so we’re left to work out that it means he’ll be happy to participate in the next Assisi event. No surprise, given the honour he paid publicly to one of the Hindu gods. Laughable, isn’t it, to think there are still priests and people who think Archbishop Lefebvre was/is the schismatic!

      January 18, 2014 at 9:48 am
  • catholicconvert1

    On the ‘auspicious’, some might say diabolical day it was announced Abp Nichols was being elevated to the Sacred College, in a gesture of friendship I wrote an email to him. Here goes-

    My original message to Abp Nichols on his elevation:

    ‘Your Excellency the Most Rev. Archbishop Vincent Nichols,

    I am sending Your Excellency this email to convey to you my congratulations on your recent elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals by the Sovereign Pontiff. You accepted this august appointment with humility and priestly obedience towards the Vicar of Christ on Earth, in a similar way to how the Apostle’s obeyed Christ. I hope that after you receive the ‘red hat’, you will be the Cardinal for all Catholics, and will serve as a bridge builder and man of peace, to resolve disputes between Catholics, particularly traditionalists and modernists. Therefore, in the name of friendship, love and reconciliation, would Your Excellency consider celebrating a regular Pontifical High Mass in Westminster Cathedral, as a gesture towards traditionalists?

    I hope that you will take my views into account and I look forward to receiving a reply.

    Yours sincerely’

    His secretary’s reply:

    ‘Dear Mr…..

    Archbishop Vincent Nichols thanks you very much for your good wishes and for sharing your ideas with him and has asked that you please keep him in your prayers.

    With kind regards’.

    Don’t they talk drivel.

    January 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      I don’t remember the facts. Someone here might. His predecessor, ++Murphy-O’Connor, tried to stop a Solemn Pontifical Mass celebrated by ++ Castrillón Hoyos at Westminster Cathedral, organised by the LMS. I am not hopeful his successor will be any more accommodating.

      Although, to their credit, the Archdiocese of Westminster’s Traditional Mass provisions are far superior to anything in Scotland.

      January 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I don’t know anything about Cardinal Hoyos, but I do know that His Eminence blocked Archbishop Burke (as was) was blocked by O’Connor from celebrating an LMS Mass. Instead Bishop John Arnold celebrated it.

        January 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm

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