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Vatican appoints new Archbishop of Cardiff

By on Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bishop Stack at a reception after last year's Red Mass

Bishop Stack at a reception after last year's Red Mass

The Vatican has appointed a Westminster auxiliary bishop to head the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

Bishop George Stack has been appointed to the Welsh archdiocese which was left empty for almost a year after Archbishop Peter Smith was moved to Southwark.

The date for his installation is still to be confirmed.

Bishop Stack, who served as a priest in Westminster for 29 years and an auxiliary bishop for 10 years under Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said: “I look forward to serving the people and clergy of the Church in Cardiff with love and faithfulness in the years that lie ahead.”

He added: “I am aware of the long and noble history of Christianity in Wales and the special gifts the Celtic people bring to the Universal Church. I hope to share in this rich tradition of faith.”

Born in Cork, Ireland in 1946, Bishop Stack moved to London with his family in 1951. He was a seminarian at St Edmund’s College, Ware and was ordained a priest for Westminster in 1972. He has a B.Ed from St Mary’s Twickenham.

He served as a parochial vicar and as a schools and hospital chaplain. In the 1980s he was parish priest of Our Lady Help of Christians in Kentish Town, London. He then served as vicar general from 1990 to 1993 befor being appointed the chief of the metropolitan Cathedral of Westminster.

Bishop Stack became an auxiliary of Westminster in 2001.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: “As President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales I welcome the appointment of the new Archbishop of Cardiff. We are grateful to the Holy Father for making this appointment so soon after the arrival of our new Papal Nuncio. The See of Cardiff is an important one for the life of Wales and for the Bishops’ Conference. It is good to know that it will be filled with a bishop of such experience and dedication as Bishop George Stack. We welcome this appointment and assure Bishop Stack of our continuing prayers and affection.”

  • Bernard

    “The doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary may sometimes seem to distort or misunderstand the role of Jesus as the unique mediator between God and the human race. An example of such a distortion would be the development of a theology which places her as an intercessor by the side of her Son.”
    — Bishop George Stack on 9th February 2011, addressing the Church of England’s Synod

    “The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven.”
    — Pope Leo XIII on 8th September 1894, addressing the world’s Catholic bishops

  • Michael

    The Second Vatican Council rejected the proposition of Mary as Mediatrix by a huge majority and finally buried the issue.

  • Bernard

    “By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.”
    — Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium”

    “The Christian people invoke Mary as Advocate, Helper, Benefactress and Mediatrix. She intercedes for us, defends and protects us; she assists us in our needs; she supports those who are falling; and she presents our prayers to Christ, pleading continually on our behalf.”
    — Pope John Paul II on 24th September 1997, to the faithful in a General Audience

  • SS1

    God bless Bishop Stack. May he guide wisely and support well his flock in Wales and beyond.

  • EditorCT

    Spot on, Bernard. I just could not believe my eyes when I read that Bishop Stack has been promoted. Things are worsening by the day.

    In addition to his theological gobbledegook about Our Lady, it was reported in the current edition of Catholic Truth, that Bishop Stack attended the infamous party of Father Michael Seed in London recently, where guests were met at the door by transvestites who took their coats – see the report on p.2 of the Newsletter at

    My sympathies to the people of Cardiff. Being so far away from Scotland is bad enough, but to have Bishop Stack as their new archbishop – awful.

  • EditorCT

    Well, since he won’t be asking for Our Lady’s intercession, since he thinks that’s “distorted theology” I’m not so sure he’ll be wisely supporting his flock in Wales. Not for a second.

  • EditorCT

    Nonsense. I see Bernard has already quoted Vatican II on this, so I will merely repeat…


  • ichfrage

    A Bishop with only a B.Ed. from Simmaries? Not educated in The Gregorian in Roma?

  • Gfdsmith

    “May he guide wisely and support well his flock in Wales and beyond.”

    Does he speak Welsh? If not, his support and guidance will be lacking in one respect. Irish Gaelic will not do as a substitute.

  • paul

    “…………………… and she presents our prayers TO CHRIST,pleading continually on our behalf.”

    St.Louis Grignon de Montfort said “through Mary,with Mary for Jesus.Whatever we do with Mary,OUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS JESUS,thats why in every prayer with Mary whether it be the rosary or other prayers,we always say “PRAY FOR US SINNERS we dont say FORGIVE US SINNERS.Mary is a wonderful Mother to ALL Christians, I LOVE MOTHER MARY!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I agree. He will be a total disaster! Obviously a move to get him out of this mess at the Vaughn, and distance him from the Fr. Seed transvestite Nuns scandal. But Cardiff?? They could have sent him to the missions or the forces!

  • Jim


  • AgingPapist

    Congratulations to bishop Stack and I pray for his success at Cardiff, but have the Welsh people had any say in his appointment? We’re they even consulted by the scarlet clad bureaucrats in Rome who foist bishops upon the faithful all over the world with no say by the faithful at all?

  • Diane hooper your family must be proud as i know me and mum are.You have suported us at the most sadness of times and i personaly remember how wonderful and relaxed my father was after your visit. I can only say with all my heart thank you and god bless you ! Im sure once people here you and get to know you they shall think the same.Time passes by and with that comes knowledge and peace,and to care for each other,this is what dad stood for..onece again god bless from the wheeler family and love to your family xx

  • paul

    Vatican is not a political party my dear,Bishop is not a political leader,when JESUS APPOINTED THE TWELVE APOSTLES,DID HE ASK PEOPLES OPINION? OF COURSE NOT!!!! the Vatican has good example from Jesus when it comes to appointment of Bishops,sorry for you!!!!!!!! do you read Bible? I doubt

  • michael

    I agree totally with the comments made by the EditorCT, God help the Church in Wales! The UK Hierarchy is rampant with Apostasy also!

    Jarra Lad

  • Fr-Mitch Beachey

    That could be his greatest strength.

  • EditorCT

    His academic qualificatons would be of no consequence if he had the Faith. A bishop who can’t, in good conscience and with integrity, say the Hail Mary – a very clearly intercessory prayer to Our Lady – shouldn’t have accepted any promotion; he should have resigned. Long ago.

  • EditorCT

    Michael – I couldn’t agree more.

  • Jamie

    I think you misrepresent what he said. His statements were a lot more nuanced that the interpretation that has been given to them.

  • Declan

    I don’t know much about Bishop Stack but I would have thought the most appropriate response from christians is to pray for him and the people he is being sent to serve. I will also pray for those who who are focused on knocking him.

  • Anonymous

    Would you please quote Bishop Stack’s exact words about Our Lady as intercessor, that you think are more “nuanced” that “the interpretation that has been given to them.”

    I’ve read his exact words and I cannot see any other way of interpreting them. Enlighten me.

  • Anonymous

    No Declan, the most appropriate response to this news is not to pray but to warn. When souls are in danger then we must exercise our baptismal and confirmation prophetic duty of warning against the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Praying we take for granted, but few Catholics appear to even know that they have a prophetic duty to defend the Faith against attack and if denying Our Lady’s intercessory power isn’t an attack on the Faith, I’d like to know what is.

    And don’t know about you, but if my bishop was known to have attended Fr Seed’s well publicized and highly unsavoury party (who employed the transvestites?) I’d want to know about it.

    We can’t demand certain elementary standards of morality from (often atheist) Members of Parliament and allow priests and bishops to do as they please. So, pray, by all means, but don’t ignore the key duty of a Catholic to warn others about dangers to their souls, especially when these come from clergy of all ranks.

  • Martin Shaw

    I always thought +George Stack was in line to become the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. If he was a Cardinal (first Cardinal for Wails?) he might vote for the Dalai Lama in a Conclave? He was born in Cork so a move from London to Cardiff is a move in the right direction. Handy for the Swansea boat. A bishop is a church “manager”. Being a person of faith is no prerequisite. George Stack is a terrific example of the quality of leadership in the English hierarchy today. John Redwood can teach him to sing in Welsh! I do not live in the British Isles so I suppose it is impertinent of me to intervene in this exchange.

  • Anonymous

    Please! We’ve enough problems in Scotland!

    Enjoyed your fun post but honestly – bishops… managers? From where I’m sitting, standing, kneeling or just hovering, they have about as much managerial skill as Nick Clegg.

    As for “I don’t live in the British Isles” – you trying to make me jealous, or what?

    Tell me you live somewhere exotic like Egypt or Libya …

  • Martin Shaw

    I live in Viterbo, 90km north of Rome, the birthplace of Blessed Dominic Barberi, Passionist.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not going to be blogging any more today or tomorrow, in honour of Our Lord’s Passion and Death, but as an exception to my holy abstention (which includes time to polish my halo before Easter) I just had to come on and say that I hope you’ll make a point of coming to the Fatima (Consecration Now!) Conference in Rome 9-13th May – see for details. See you there, God willing!

  • Bush477

    Starting with the EditorCT & several of the ‘Others'; Is there a Christian among you? So nasty & judgemental. Debate is good, personal spiteful comments are unproductive. Go back to the beginning, try practicing christianity. Then one day you may become good Catholics. Let our Lord judge, not you. Well done Bishop Stack.

  • Friend

    Following your advice EditorCT, I feel I must warn you that your bitterness, and judgemental attitdue is putting your soul in great danger! As a protestant I advise you to pray THROUGH Mary to our Lord and beg his forgiveness before it is too late.

    As a friend of Archbishop Stack I know personally that Wales will be richly blessed by such a devout, faithful, intelligent and humble man, a man of absolute integrity and love for his Lord and the Church. I shall do what we should all be doing and that is praying for him and all leaders in the churches in this nation. There is more than enough criticism of the church from those on the outside, it is a great shame that there are those within the church who are equally venemous!

  • Diane hooper

    I feel sorry for you and your opinion on very things..if indeed he was at such a meeting why would that upset you….tranvestites are still people with faith as are gays or lesbians .They are not wolves in sheeps clothing at all and so sad of you to have such a narrow minded view on live and people and the bible infact so does this also mean colour and race ..You fit the cloth to suit only men but also pray to mary.Pray taken for granted oh dear ,peerhaps you do..but im sure many of people that do pray do not take this for granted and what right have you to say such words and asume such things…catholics key duty is to warn others of there souls – are you not living in the dark ages somewhat.I can asure you bishop stack would never do such things he may be accused of loveing all people as my father is was attached to a religion as you say …but bishop stack still visited my father and was the most amazine suport to us especialy my dad and did speak at my fathers funneral <<<<<this bishop as you say did not judge my father or us infact but showed love and kindness from his heart…may i say you do the same and dont people leave that to the one the does and has that right to judge

  • Dianewashooper

    Good luck George and may god be by your side for now and always.x love to your lovely family xx :)