Cardinal Cormac’s memoirs of ‘An English Spring’

‘An English Spring’ is the title of a new book of memoirs by […]

RV6356_Articolo‘An English Spring’ is the title of a new book of memoirs by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O-Connor who served as Archbishop of Westminster from 2000 to 2009. Published by Bloomsbury and launched on Wednesday, the book offers a candid reflection on the Irish, Catholic upbringing of the man who became leader of the Church in England and Wales at a time of unprecedented turbulence and change.

With his characteristic humour and passion for the cause of Christian unity, the retired cardinal offers the reader an insider’s view of major events in the life of the Church, including the conclaves that elected the last two popes. He also reflects frankly on the damage done by the sexual abuse crisis which was engulfing the Church as he took over following the sudden death of his predecessor, Cardinal Basil Hume.

During a recent visit to Rome, Philippa Hitchen caught up with the cardinal for a sneak preview of ‘An English Spring’…


Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O-Connor notes that he is the only Archbishop of Westminster to have retired from the job since all of his predecessors died in office. He says he was encouraged by others to write his memoirs as he is coming up for 60 years a priest and 40 years a bishops and has lived through “rather turbulent times”….

The cardinal says he called the book ‘An English Spring’ after a famous sermon that Blessed John Henry Newman gave in 1852 to all the newly established bishops of England and Wales, entitled a ‘Second Spring’. Newman talked about a resurgence of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, following penal times and the post-Reformation and he says “don’t be surprised if this springtime is like an English spring, with storms and sun and sudden blasts…..and I say the Church in my time has been a springtime, but full of promise”


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