Home of the revival of English Catholicism provides new leader of England's Catholics

Following my earlier post, Birmingham Archbishop to lead England Catholic flock , it has been confirmed that Archbishop of Birmingham Vincent Nichols is to become the next Archbishop of Westminster and spiritual leader of England and Wales' 4.2 million Catholics.

Nichols became an auxilary bishop at the age of 46 and was moved by Pope John Paul II to the Archdiocese of Birmingham where he was appointed archbishop. Birmingham has provided Nichols with opportunities to work with a diverse city of faith communities and on the 'bread and butter issues' of the Catholic population.

Archbishop Nichols, representing a younger generation of priests, has no such fears. “Sometimes voices that are opposed to religious faith are raised more stridently in London,” he said. “Certainly in Birmingham, for example, public authorities, the city council, the education authorities, work very well and very sympathetically with the faith communities.” He said he was not sure that was the case in London. “I wait to find out whether the resistance that is in parts of our culture really is as strong as it would appear from the outside in London.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6032096.ece

His success and achievements in Birmingham did not go unnoticed by the city itself who named him an important civic leader and by the Catholic hierarchy.

Nichols was in Birmingham, where 50 ethnic communities represent the Catholic population, and concentrating on bread and butter activities. His success as a pastor led to the local newspaper naming him as one of the city's most important civic leaders. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, recalled his early meetings with him: "I saw firsthand his commitment and ability through the work he did in prisons. It was a real joy to renew that working relationship when I was made Bishop of Birmingham, where we worked together across a range of issues as members of the Faith Leaders' Group." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/04/archbishop-vincent-nichols-profile

His appointment though will make him missed by Catholics in Birmingham and he has himself described his sadness at leaving the important Archidiocese, the home of the revival of English Catholicism and where he been supportive of the move towards canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

He also said that there was "a lot sadness" in leaving his post as Archbishop of Birmingham, calling the priests there "very splendid" and the Archdiocese "the home of the revival of the re-establishment of the Catholic Church in [England] after the restoration of the hierarchy" in the 1850s. http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15592


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