Archbishop Named for Birmingham

Prelate Looks Forward to Cardinal Newman Beatification

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BIRMINGHAM, England, OCT. 1, 2009 ( Benedict XVI named Auxiliary Bishop Bernard Longley of Westminster as the next archbishop of Birmingham.

A Vatican communiqué announced today the appointment of the prelate who will succeed Archbishop Vincent Nichols, currently head of the Westminster Archdiocese.

Upon receiving the news of his appointment, Archbishop Longley stated, «I’m looking forward to getting to know the Archdiocese of Birmingham and looking ahead to the coming years, I know that I will need time to look; to listen, to understand and to get to know the place well.»

He expressed his enthusiasm looking forward to next year’s beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, which he says will be «a moment for many blessings.»

The archbishop also noted his appreciation for the tour of the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, which are traveling throughout the country this month.

«It has really been quite remarkable,» he said, and «faith has been strengthened.»

It has «emboldened us to speak of our faith and indeed to speak about the importance of the communion of the saints,» the prelate continued.

He stated that «looking ahead to the possibility of a papal visit to England and Wales, I think also that moment of unity with the Successor of Peter will be something to inspire people in every dimension of the Church’s life.»

Archbishop Longley underlined several priorities for the Church under his care, including the need to «give a clear voice to the teaching of the Church and to express the love of Christ, especially by reaching out to those who are in need.»

He underlined the need to support pro-life values surrounding «the beginning, the end of life and indeed the quality of life.»

«The Catholic Church has a clear message and also has the people and the will to support those people who wish to live according to that message,» the prelate said.

Bernard Longley was born in Manchester, England, in 1955. He was ordained a priest in 1981 by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, retired archbishop of Westminster, who later also consecrated him a bishop in 2003.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has some 282,592 Catholics, served by 278 priests, 76 permanent deacons and 669 religious.

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