Tablet claims Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor regrets Bishop Davies’ appointment

This weeks Tablet carries the astonishing claim that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor not only regrets Mark Davies’ appointment as bishop but has made his disapproval public.

‘Bishop Davies appointment has certainly delighted conservatives; he recently handed the running of a parish to a traditionalist group, who exclusively celebrate the old rite. It would appear that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was absent when the congregation settled on Bishop Davies for Shrewsbury. “That’ll teach me to miss the plane”, he is said to have quipped.”

The Tablet explains the Cardinal’s attitude towards Bishop Mark Davies, who has courageously spoken out against gay marriage and the persecution of UK Christians, as stemming from his belief that ‘bishops will be more effective if they are diplomatic sorts rather than “cultural warriors”.

The Tablet also suggests that the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Mennini may be holding off the appointment of new bishops in the UK until Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor turns 80 in August when he loses his place in the Congregation for Bishops.

The Apostolic Nuncio’s recent speech to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales indicates that unlike Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, he favours bishops who are outspoken and courageous in defending the faith.

Protect the Pope comment: It has been long suspected that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, despite the diplomatic words, is not a big fan of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Based on the Tablet’s report this shouldn’t come as a surprise because both are exemplary ‘cultural warriors’.

It may not surprise but his attitude has been a bitter disappointment to may Catholics who are faithful and loyal to the teachings and discipline of the Faith, often at great personal cost  such as homosexual men and women who live chaste lives or infertile couples who reject IVF because they respect the sanctity of life.

Unlike Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, and his like, Bishop Mark Davies, and a few others, offer us the hope that the Church in this country will revive after decades of ineffective ‘diplomacy’.

Tablet 5th May 2012. p. 17

16 comments to Tablet claims Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor regrets Bishop Davies’ appointment

  • Of course, it is a matter of disgrace that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has made such sentiments known but it also places Bishop Mark Davies much higher in my esteem (if that were possible).

  • Let us pray for many more good bishops.

  • Chris

    A well known abbot told me that he was involved in a conversation with a few members of the heirarchy and the general consensus was that “someone took their eye off the ball” to allow +Davies to be appointed.

    Pray for +Davies – he is a good man and it cannot be easy when even your brother bishops are hoping you fail.

  • Veritas

    If this claim is true, it shows that the Cardinal himself has not been very diplomatic!

    Seriously though, this presents the Cardinal with an interesting dilemma. He can remain silent (and silence implies consent)- or he can write to The Tablet to either justify the alleged remarks, or to deny them and ask The Tablet for an apology.

    If he has indeed made these remarks, it implies that he disagrees with the judgement of the Congregation for Bishops and of the Holy Father himself for appointing Bishop Davies. And it will also be noted in Rome that he can no longer hold his counsel.

    I am sure too that the Cardinal knows that Pope Benedict reads The Tablet. During the time of Pope John-Paul II, The Tablet published an article critical of the-then Cardinal Ratzinger. The following week, it published a very long letter by Cardinal Ratzinger that very patiently and systematically refuted the offending article.

  • kfca

    May +Shrewsbury grow from strength to strength: his flock are very blessed. Please keep both Bishop Davies and the papal nuncio in your prayers.

    It appears also that the canonical requirement that bishops ‘retire’ from curial positions when they reach the age of 80 was very recently abrogated by His Holiness, although it may just have been for one exception. Hence, please also pray that our dear Archbishop emeritus’s days of visiting Rome soon draw to a peaceful close.

  • Terry

    I’m not too bothered anymore. August is just round the corner!

  • kfca

    Sincere apologies – my last comment regarding age limits on curial bishops was wrong – happily for England, it related only to the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and was not a recent change. I think Archbishop Mennini would be very wise to bide his time until after 24th August before putting English Sees on the agenda.

  • Dylan

    Please God, may we soon have more bishops like +Davies and +Campbell… We may actually have to wait until after St Bartholomew’s Day, though!

  • Mark Thorne

    I extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to Bishop Mark Davies for his role in arranging the wonderful visit of the relics of St. John Vianney to Britain this forthcoming July. Would Cardinal Cormac, or any of his circle of like-minded bishops, have taken this initiaive?

    I recognise that Cardinal Cormac is a humble, generous and agreeable man, although unfortunately what strikes me most when I think of his name is the “fast-tracking” of Tony Blair’s entry into the Church and a somewhat unjustified “red-carpet welcome” that was accorded to him Christmas 2007, and inviting him to give a talk at Westminster Cathedral a few years ago in the Faith Lectures series, which I seem to recall was scarcely better than something an average sixth-former could have cobbled together during a lunch hour. Lest we forget….

  • [...] Nick reads the Tablet, he says it is making some extraordinary claims about Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor: “It would appear that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was [...]

  • It must be clearly stated here that the reason it is imperative that Bishop Mark Davies now made Cardinal and Vincent Nichols is ousted has not got any thing to do with being championed by Catholic conservatives. It has everything to do with him being a Faithful Orthodox Catholic Bishop.

    Being conservative does not make you a better Catholic than anyone else. It is only when we start striving for faithful orthodoxy that we can claim to be Catholic.

    Conservatives, liberals, Latinists, and charismatics can all be found not to be following Church teaching on things like:

    1. No sex before marriage
    2. No using contraception in marriage
    3. The use of natural family planning in marriage.

    It is time to scrap the Catholic tags of conservative, liberal, Latinist and charismatic etc. There is only one tag that we should be striving for and that is being a faithful orthodox Catholic. It is only this term that actually means something. The others do not tell us anything about being Catholic.

    Also, the so called conservatives and charismatics, who both proclaim to have all the answers, failed to do anything when the English Catholic Church started falling apart. They should be ashamed.

    Faithful orthodoxy will only return when Bishop Davies and the few other like him take over the at the helm.


  • Paul Waddington

    By 24th August, there will be six Sees where the bishop has either reached the age of 75 or, in one case, has died. These are:
    East Anglia,
    Portsmouth And

    It is possible that consideration ls being given to eliminating two of these dioceses (Hallam and Wrexham) because they now have too few priests to function efficiently.

    So there will be four to six places to fill. I would recommend readers to put forward their suggestions of suitable priests to the Nuncio as soon as possible.

  • Kinga Grzeczynska LLB

    Good Luck + Mark Davies – you have my vote.

    I like your pastoral letters and I like what you are doing in your Diocese.
    I know that it is not easy – but it is certain that you will have special strength given to you by The Holy Spirit to look after God’s Flock and do what is correct.

    You have my support and my prayers.

    Kinga Grzeczynska
    St Mary’s Chorley, Lancashire

  • mary hall

    I hope this isnt true the comment that Cardinal murphy o connor regrets Bishop mark of Shrewsbury diocese being a bishop,

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