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Cardinal: disestablishment would benefit the Church of England

By on Friday, 24 August 2012

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor outside Westminster Cathedral (Photo: Mazur/

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor outside Westminster Cathedral (Photo: Mazur/

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has said that disestablishment would benefit the Church of England.

The Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster, who turns 80 today, made the comment in a frank and wide-ranging interview with The Catholic Herald.

The cardinal said: “People often ask me: ‘Do you think the Church of England should be disestablished?’ I say: ‘I think it will be. But it’s not for us to ask for it.’ They must decide when they think it’s better, for the sake of the Gospel, to be disestablished.”

Asked if he supported disestablishment, he said: “I think it will happen and I think it might be of benefit to Anglicans if it did at some point. They obviously think that at the moment it’s an advantage to them, and I respect that. But I think it will change with time.”

The cardinal’s 80th birthday will be celebrated with a Mass of Thanksgiving in Westminster Cathedral on Friday September 21. From today he retires from his offices in the Curia, and will no longer vote in a papal conclave.

In the interview, he recalled attending the conclave that elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope. He said that, when Cardinal Ratzinger was asked what name he would take, he immediately said “Benedict”. “I think every cardinal had a name up his sleeve just in case,” he said.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor revealed that he had three names in mind.

The full interview is available in this week’s Catholic Herald, which can be read online or on paper.

  • Daclamat

    Splendid idea. He could become a bishop and show off that Human Vitae was all wrong, especially when Cherie forgot to take her kit to Balmoral. How does a learned canon lawyer get round Blair’s cavalier attitude to the Church’s doctrine?

  • Daclamat

    Why doesn’t he mind his own business?

  • Alban

    I think you should have said, totally unChristian. I don’t think Archbishop Nichols will wear scarlet until Cormac departs this life. But Happy 80th! Cormac.

  • Alban

    Oh that we had another Cardinal Basil!

  • Apostolic

    He certainly does not deserve respect from the Catholic Church while he holds his views on abortion and the male character of the priesthood, on which he has chosen to lecture the pope. Neither do those who share his opinions on these matters.

  • Dcruz

    Islam will soon become the state religion in France and rest of Europe.

  • ChantryPriest

    A mistake surely-he must have meant ‘would benefit the Church of Rome’
    The C of E only has [some] street cred left ‘cos of establishment. Without it, it would be merely a sect for readers of the Grauniad.

  • Chrysoprase

    Archbishop Vincent deserves the loyal support of British Catholics – not puzzling rudeness. Who do Syme and Nytor think they represent? If you two are enemies of the Roman Church I fully understand your unpleasantness. But if you share a pew with me, you’ll have to earn my sign of peace – which you ain’t doin’ at the moment!

  • W Lewis513

    Disestablishent  ment of Cof E his none of his business. As for VN getting red hat Lord Preserve us.

  • Knight

    I hope I live long enough to see Blair, Brown, Cameron and Clegg in The Hague to answer for their crimes. As for Blair being a ‘Catholic’, all I can assume is that he hoped/hopes to destroy Rome from within. I think he’ll find that a tad more difficult than administering the coup de grâce to the Church of England by the installation of Williams.

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Bliar? A man who did not have to publicly renounce his constant public adherence to abortion “rights” before he was accepted into the Church?

    A success?

    Are you mad?

    But what else can we expect of the neo-protestant post-Vatican II Church? Nothing.

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Hear, hear, Apostolic! Loftus and his ilk are wolves in the fold.

  • Jimin Kang

    Whilst I am not a great supporter of Cardinal Cormac’s, I do not think it is very pertinent to speak of his “departure” in a public space such as this. Nor would it be appropriate to speak of appointments such as Archbishop Vin getting the red hat.

    I wonder though, quite inappropriately, what would become of the English Catholic Church once he gets the red hat. Or even, what blight he may prove to be to the Vin-eyard of England.

  • Jimin Kang

    Why must they earn your sign of peace? What if they both went to Mass in Extraordinary Form? lol

    Also, the lack of “loyal support” you seem to find from Syme and Nytor seems to stem from Archbishop Vincent’s rather interesting views on same sex attraction and considering the Soho Mass as a pastoral care for Catholics with same sex attraction. Although I might have to humbly ask you to fill me up on the actualities of this atrocity against the liturgy of the Church and the fate of these souls taking part in it.
    Now, some may say he is indeed opposed to same sex “marriage” and I guess I do not disagree however I seem to remember him saying something like “Oh we have civil union between two men and two women socially recognised…. ladidadida…” Now, surely, the very concept of civil union (be it between a man and a woman or not) is against Natural Law as well? Has he condemned it equally, or is he on the line of “Oh well, you lot have civil union already, why do you ask for a Marriage?” If that is what he proposes than what Syme and Nytor are doing is nothing but a fraternal correction. Whilst we do owe loyalty and obedience (although not under a vow like priests) to him, as fellow Catholics we also have the moral responsibility to practice fraternal correction when a soul requires it. And when that soul is steering a ship carrying millions of souls supposedly sailing upwards to Heaven, it becomes all the more important a task to do so, not in a spirit of disobedience and hatred, but in a spirit of obedience and charity and ORTHODOXY. I hope I quoted him correctly above by the way; I would hate to commit the sin of spreading untruths about him.

    Now, is that atrocity still going on at the moment?

  • james ross

    The Church Of England should be disestablished via a referendum so I think there should be an online petition/ petition set up, calling for a referendum for the Church of England’s disestablishment. Finally I think the Archbishop of Canterbury should be elected by the general synod or archbishops