The Catholic Herald is the first newspaper to mention Fr Edmund Power, the Abbot of St Paul Outide the Walls as the successor to the Archbishop of Westminster, see here.
I know very little about him, except that he is well respected in Rome. St Paul's is one of the Major Basilicas in Rome, and is the base for much of the Holy See's ecumenical work. I must say I would be willing to put my money on him, he is bright, learned and not from the magic circle and a real Benedictine in both senses.
He might well be seen as a good choice for many reasons, one is that Rome seems to see England and Wales needs a learned and effective leader.
The influence of The Tablet and Tabletistas is seen as being significant and influential in the English speaking world by many in Rome and yet most of the letters that are received from England and Wales, what is read on the blogs - they are read in Rome; what is heard from younger clergy makes it appear that there is a gulf which the Bishops do seem able to bridge, which tends to lead to a dissipation of the Church's strength and confusion about its identity and mission.
The Herald did suggest that Cardinal Pell might be transferred to England, which was just plain silly; but Pell is taken seriously in his critiscism of the Church of England and Wales and the effect it has on the English speaking world, his views are well known. It might be quite ironic if the The Tablet, or rather reaction to it, actually frames the choice of the next Archbishop of Westminster. Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, on various occassions has said many in the Curia can't understand why the bishops can't rein it in, "They don't understand it is independant of the heirarchy", he says, what he doesn't say, is they do not understand why no English/Welsh bishop argues articulately against it and seeks to defend the Church, either in pastoral letters or print. There are real questions about the intellectual input of the Church in England and Wales, both in the public forum and in the debates amongst the heirarchy.
However at the bookies...
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham remains 2-1 favourite with Irish bookmakers Paddy Power.
The second favourite is Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark at 5-1, with Fr Timothy Radcliffe, former head of the Dominican order, at 6-1.
Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham is also thought to be a contender.
The picture shows the Holy Father and the Abbot looking at the excavated tomb of St Paul.
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