The Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, has been appointed to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor as Archbishop of Westminster.

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols Q&As at the Press Conference announcing his appointment as Archbishop of Westminster from Catholic Westminster on Vimeo.

source – www.rcdow.org.uk

New leader for Westminister Archdiocese

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, who has been Archbishop of Birmingham since March 2000, as the next Archbishop of Westminster. Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor as Archbishop of Westminster. The Cardinal will now become the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Westminster until Archbishop Nichols is installed at Westminster Cathedral on Thursday, 21 May 2009.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: “As the Cardinal so graciously says, it is for me something of a return. I spent 16 very happy years here in Westminster, eight of them as General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference and eight of them as an Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Hume in North London. I learnt a great deal from him, not least about the demands of the office of the Archbishop of Westminster and I am daunted by the task that lies ahead.”

“It’s sad departing from the Diocese of Birmingham which I have learnt to appreciate, cherish and love. I will miss the priests and the people of Birmingham very much indeed.”

“I would like to thank Cardinal Cormac, who has been an outstanding Archbishop of Westminster. He knows what it’s like to live through really hard times and he has come through them with great dignity and strength. He has been an outstanding public leader of the Catholic community in this country today and I know I speak for many when I express our steadfast admiration and thanks to him for all that he has done.”

“I feel a real need to acknowledge my openness to and dependence on God above all else. But in this I am not unique. Everyone who seeks to follow the ways of God learns to depend on the truth, love and compassion of God more than on their own strength. I know that as I prepare to take on this new office in the Church many people will pray to the Lord that I will be strengthened for this task – and that is what I definitely need.”

“We often hear of the challenges facing our country in finding cohesion in the face of great diversity. Our churches are places where people are from a wide variety of different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. They come together, work together and contribute together to the wider good of our society. The Church in this country has a great deal to offer and I hope to do my best to contribute to that project in this new role.”

Biography

Vincent Nichols was born in Crosby, Liverpool, on 8 November 1945. He studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome from 1963 to 1970, gaining licences in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained priest in Rome on 21 December 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

He then studied an MA degree in theology at Manchester University between 1970 and 1971. In 1971 he was appointed assistant priest in St Mary’s Parish, Wigan and chaplain to the Sixth Form College and St Peter’s High School. In 1974 he studied at Loyola University in Chicago and was awarded an M.Ed. In 1975 he was appointed to St Anne’s parish in Toxteth, Liverpool with particular responsibility for education.

In January 1980 he was appointed director of the Upholland Northern Institute, where he was responsible for the in-service training of the clergy, pastoral and religious education courses. He was also a member of Archbishop’s Council with responsibility for pastoral formation and development in the diocese.

In January 1984, he was appointed general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference in England & Wales. From 1989 to 1996 he was moderator of the Steering Committee of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland.

Mgr Vincent Nichols was appointed auxiliary bishop to Westminster, with responsibility for North London, on 24 January 1992.

In 1994 he became a member of the Finance Advisory Committee of the National Catholic Fund of the Bishops’ Conference. In 1995 he became a member of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for the Roman Colleges and in 1996 he was appointed Episcopal Liaison of the Bishops’ Conference for the National Conference of Diocesan Financial Secretaries. He has also been a member of the Joint Commission of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and the Conference of European Churches (Protestant); vice president of the Bible Society and a member of the board of the Christian Academy for European Development at Louvain.

In 1998 Bishop Nichols was appointed chair of the Bishops’ Conference department for Catholic Education and Formation and also chair of the Catholic Education Service. He represented the European bishops at the November 1998 Synod of Bishops from Oceania and appointed by the Holy See to the Synod of Bishops for Europe in September 1999 as a special secretary.