Monday, March 09, 2009

Westminster Rumours

I am not sure if I should be passing rumours, whether it is healthy or not, I don't know...

....but the rumour going around Rome at the moment, is that the Westminster Terna has been submitted a couple of times and has been returned, marked, "none of the above", how that is known I am not sure. Who would risk excommunication by revealing the "Papal Secret"? I don't know. But apparently the Holy Father is looking for someone "with fire in his belly". The current name being mentioned strikes me as an obvious choice, and although the rumour may not be true illustrates that the feeling in Rome is that here in Britain we do have some outstanding priests, who outside of the "magic circle", who are actually being mentioned for this key position.

One of the rumours is that Cardinal Pell is the "king-maker", last time he was in the UK there were rumours about Abbot Hugh Gilbert. Cardinal Pell and several others seem to regard England as being a source of parasitic liberalism within the Anglophone world.

The name now being mentioned is Fr Alexander Sherbrooke, apparently Cardinal Stafford holds him in high regard and has been carefully putting his name about in the right places. Cardinal Pell, I think is, a friend of his, he is certainly an admirer of his pastoral strategies.
Like all rumours one should take this one with a pinch of salt. I report it here because Fr Sherbrooke seems to reflect the type of person that Rome seems to be looking for in a bishop, someone who is committed to "radical orthodoxy" and thinking with the Church, who is capable of understanding the Church in terms of "mission" rather than "maintenance", above all he is not hidebound by conservative liberalism.

Fr Sherbrooke is radical but he also has "establishment credentials", which foreign prelates regard as being important in England, he is an old Etonian, a former confident of the Princess Diana set. He is likely to be a popular choice too with many of the Westminster clergy.
Interestingl, I haven't heard his name being suggested before.


Anonymous said...

I hope it's not true, he's an extremely great man. Poor Father Alexander, I'm sure that's the last thing he wants.

Anonymous said...

I doubt if any sound priests who fit the required bill would personally welcome such an appointment. But then the Holy Father didn't go out of his way to seek his appointment!

If this rumour is anywhere near true, putting it in the public domain could go one of two ways. I hope it goes the right way.

Let's pray that the Holy Spirit is allowed a role in this appointment as he was in the appointment of the Holy Father.

Jane said...

The link article is excellent but it's four years old. I'm sure this great priest does not want Wesminster. Do we know how he stands on loyalty to Benedict XVI?

There are indeed other great priests in Britain. One has just had his name dragged through the mud, but the reasons would impress Rome, I should have thought, rather than the reverse!

Anonymous said...

Father Eyebrows!

(here ends my serious, considered contribution to consideration of this weighty topic)

Anonymous said...

Jane, Fr A. Sherbrooke is loyal to B16 and is a good and holy man. Though he wd probably laugh at that. His big heros are Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. description of himself. As Fr Ray says, he's into radical orthodoxy. I think though that the Church would be best served with him in manning a parish like the one he has, rather than becoming a prisoner of his office as a bishop.

Elizabeth said...

I think someone should set up a Westminster 'Rumour' vote, it would be interesting who would get the most votes. I know who I would vote for and who the Tablet groupees would definately not vote for???
We need to pray for the Holy Spirit to intervene in this matter and for all to pay heed to His choice

nickbris said...

One of the Africans would be perfect,there are hundreds of African priests in London and they seem to keep big congregations and they like singing.

Anonymous said...

Fr Alexander would be an excellent choice given his loyalty to the Catholic Faith and his great personal desire and efforts to propagate the good news of salvation in Christ through the Mass and sacraments together with vibrant Catholic evangelism in the heart of Soho.

Adulio said...

What exactly is readical orthodoxy? Is this something that is meant to be "hip n' cool" in order to get through to the "yoof"? (To borrow a term used by Mulier Fortis)

Fr. Sherbrooke is a very good priest however and is great with young adults. His series of talks on Humanae Vitae were very good from what I have heard. Being a parish priest in Soho must be trying at best - it's amazing how he copes.

George said...

'There will be rumours of this and that and the other....', I read that somewhere in the Gospels I'm sure.

I'm also sure that the Holy Spirit will guide the appointment to make sure that we get the right 'Man for our Times'.

Rather than speculate perhaps we should look more to getting down on our knees and praying hard. 'Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your Faithful'... would be a good start and the Prayer for England would also seem very fitting.

A man with 'Fire in his Belly' and a 'Burning love for Jesus', sounds just like what this Country most definitely needs. Prayers and Novenas should be started as soon as a date for the appointment is imminent.


Anonymous said...

Well, Cardinal Pell left Oxford today, seemingly for Rome - so who knows who he might bump into and what he might have to say about the good priests of England outside the magic circle. Interesting times indeed

Anonymous said...

Today's Daily Mail says the favourite is now Fr Allan White who is a Dominican monk.