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Archbishop backs petition to save The Cardinal pub

By and on Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Cardinal pub is just round the corner from Westminster Cathedral (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Cardinal pub is just round the corner from Westminster Cathedral (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has backed a petition to save The Cardinal pub after it was confirmed that it would revert to its former name, The Windsor Castle.

The archbishop urged an audience of civil servants, parliamentarians, academics and Church officials at a conference on social responsibility today to sign the petition.

Launched only on Monday, the petition has over 130 signatories, including many priests and religious and the former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe.

Other figures who appear to have signed the petition are Fr Christopher Jamison, Auxiliary Bishop John Arnold of Westminster, John Wilkins, former editor of The Tablet, and one “Peter Smith”, who could be Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark.

The Samuel Smith’s pub, a popular meeting place for parishioners of Westminster Cathedral, has been closed for renovations since late last year. The petition says the name The Cardinal is an “important heritage of this part of London”.

Miss Widdecombe said: “If this had come a day earlier I would have dismissed it as an April fool, so outrageous is the idea. This pub is right at the heart of Westminster Cathedral’s environs and Windsor Castle is many miles away. Is this the latest attack from secularism or just ignorance?”

Michael Elmer, head of the Christian People’s Alliance, told Independent Catholic News: “The Cardinal has been part of the social life of Westminster Cathedral for decades. I believe it was named after Cardinal Manning, who showed such great support for the Dockers Strike in 1889. He lived nearby.”

Before its refurbishment the pub had a display of paintings of cardinals, past and present. Mr Elmer said: “It would be interesting to know whether these will be still be in the refurbished pub – and if not – whether it would be possible for the Church to acquire them.”

A spokeswoman for Harries Hagan Solicitors, representing the pub’s owners, said she would be making enquiries.

  • Tim

    Is there an online petition? If so, could the Herald kindly put a link here?

  • Mark Greaves

    We do have a link in the article, but perhaps it is difficult to see. Here it is:

  • The Catholic Herald
  • Anonymous

    The teetotaller Cardinal Manning would not be impressed with all this nonsense, and would probably have agreed that The Windsor Castle (the pub’s original name) was apt – especially seeing it’s in Windsor Place.

    I am really trying to get my head round the fact that the Archbishop of Westminster seems to have spent more time in trying to get a new Cardinal in Westminster than he has on real issues that affect today’s society and Church!

    Please, stop this madness – The Windsor Castle is a good name, and Manning definitely would not have wanted his name or image anywhere near a pub. He loathed alcohol and pub culture! I would have hoped that the Church would have shown more respect to his memory!

    And all this nonsense about the pub being named after Manning in the first place is a bit OTT – the bar was renamed Th Cardinal in the 1950′s, and had been the Windsor since 1830!

  • Anonymous

    Get a grip.

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable. Archbishop Nichols defends to the death, Masses for Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexual and Transgender people to celebrate their “orientations” but objects to a pub changing its name.

    Gimme the proverbial strength!

  • Anonymous

    No thanks.

  • martha

    Archbishop Nichols defends the Cardinal ..Pub while the Diocese attacks Cardinal Vaughan school. Is he for real????
    By the way the Save Cardinal VAUGHAN petition has in excess of 1,500 signatures . Please visit the Save The Vaughan website and show your support.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are being quite cruel. According to Alfred Kinsey who researched sexuality, the majority of us are attracted to the same-sex to varying degrees. It is widely accepted that we do not fit into boxes, but rather a scale of sexuality ranging from heterosexual to homosexual. The likelihood that you, me or anyone reading this has not at one point found themselves attracted to someone of the same-sex is remarkably low.

    Furthermore, although the Church sees homosexual sexual activity as a sin, it also asks for compassion and recognizes that sexuality is a state of being rather than a choice. To say a mass in support of, and for compassion for those of different sexualities does not condone sex acts, but is supporting those that are vulnerable and that have been born into an unfortunate situation.

  • Anonymous

    You cannot be serious? Alfred Kinsey?

    Homosexuality is a choice, make no mistake about it. The Church does NOT teach that it is a choice. The Soho Masses are a CELEBRATION of homosexuality. If you visit the “gay” websites you’ll find that they are very open about that. Bidding prayers celebrate civil partnerships and the whole thing is a blasphemy and a scandal. The only Catholics who could possibly fail to be shocked are the protestantised Catholics of the New Church Order

  • Anonymous

    I thought we had talked about the objective and trustworthy sources of information before? If I want to, no doubt, I could probably find a website about how Mother Teresa enjoyed killing small animals! Not that I’d believe it. The internet is the wild-west out their, I’m not just going to believe any old webpage you have googled!

    Regardless of the fact that the Church officially agrees with me – that sexuality is innate and pre-determined; the Soho masses are no such thing as a celebration. I would suggest you look at this BBC article on them:
    These are not a forum to challenge church teaching on homosexuality, and the masses themselves have been approved by the Vatican. If anything they are a shoulder to cry on.

    They are designed to get the the gay community in Soho into Church – are you suggesting this is a bad thing. If anything they might learn that gay sex-acts are a sin and stay celibate – how can you disagree with that?

  • Anonymous

    You clearly haven’t a clue, paulsays. You have not read the many detailed articles about the Soho Masses written by eyewitnesses who have attended them – including some homosexuals striving to live lives faithful to the Church’s teaching. They are on record saying they will never again attend one of these Masses. Go to the Soho Masses website and follow the links. You dismiss anything I give you and for that reason, I’m not entering into any further communication with you.