UK Prelate Responds to His Appointment as Cardinal

Archbishop Nichols said his elevation to the College of Cardinals enables him to “serve the Pope in a direct and prolonged way”.

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, will be one of 16 elector cardinal to receive the red had from Pope Francis during next month’s consistory.

The Holy Father made the announcement during yesterday’s Angelus address. He also announced three other prelates over the age of 80 will also be created non elector cardinals.

“I am deeply moved by the honour conferred upon the Catholic Church in England and Wales and on the Diocese of Westminster in my appointment as Cardinal by His Holiness Pope Francis,”  Archbishop Nichols said in a statement released following the announcement. “The Catholic Church in our countries has always had a profound and loving loyalty to the Holy Father, the Successor of St Peter.”

Archbishop Nichols was named the Archbishop of Westminster in 2009, taking the place of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor who had reached the retirement age of 75. That same year, he was elected president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. He is the 11th archbishop of Westminster to be made cardinal.

“This appointment enables me, on behalf of all, to serve the Pope in a direct and prolonged way,” the English archbishop said. “Personally, this is a humbling moment when I am asked to take a place in this service of the Holy See and in the line of much loved Cardinal Archbishops of Westminster. I seek the blessing of Almighty God for these new responsibilities and I ask for the prayers of all people of faith that I may fulfill them with energy and devotion.”

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