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The Westminster Cardinals

This is a fascinating and topical biography of the lives of ten men appointed by Rome to head the Roman Catholic Church in the UK.This book will look at the lives of ten men who have been appointed by Rome to head the Roman Catholic Church in this country. The biographies will be set against the background of four main topics: in 1850 RCs were still a marginalized community, an uneasy amalgam of recusant families Irish immigrants and distinguished converts (The challenge was to create an indigenous Catholicism); the Church in Britain had to contend with a constituency which tended to be poor and illiterate (Part of the Archbishops drive was to boost education and thus drive Catholics out of poverty); relations with the Church of England and the wish to preserve Catholic identity; and, Catholics were and are increasingly a significant identifiable section of British society.The Archbishops of Westminster has attempted to express their voice in the national debates - whether successfully or not is an issue discussed in this fascinating book. The present Catholic hierarchy have often taken issue with the diktats coming from Rome on many issues - liturgy, divorced and remarried Catholics, the ordination of married men. If Rome appoints a man who is more inclined to kowtow to Rome this could be bad news for liberal minded progressive people of any religious belief or none. It is generally agreed that Hume outshone Carey as a national spiritual leader. How will the new appointment rate with the Chief Rabbi and Rowan Williams also is in contention.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Nicholas Wiseman. 2. Henry Edward Manning; 3. Herbert Vaughan; 4. Francis Bourne; 5. Arthur Hinsley; 6. Bernard Griffin; 7. William Godfrey; 8. John Carmel Heenan; 9. George Basil Hume; 10. Cormac Murphy O'Connor; 11. The Way Forward.

About the Author

Michael Walsh has written or edited over a dozen works on the history of the Church, both ancient and contemporary. He was until recently, Librarian at Heythrop College, University of London, UK.


"Provide[s] an overview of the 'emergence' of the Catholic church in this country from the shadows of it's recusant history to a recognised place in the life of the nation." Bishop George Stack "A lively and crisply written book ... [with] the well-informed, perceptive and personal observations one would associate with such a seasoned church-watcher and ecclesiastical biographer." - The Tablet, Februrary 2009 Review in The Catholic Herald, April 2009 "Useful and very readable compendium."Church Times, April 2009 Extracts in Catholic Herald, January 2009 Author article and title mention in The Tablet, November 2009 "The literature on some of the Cardinals is interesting and varied, depending on the level of their public profile and how they chose to exercise their office" The pastoral review, vol.5 issue 2--Sanford Lakoff "Walsh's careful research and his generally sympathetic essays make this book a valuable addition to Catholic history." Daniel Boice, Catholic Library World--Sanford Lakoff "Catholic Library World " "[Walsh] writes with fluency and, relying heavily in a wide range of contemporary sources, creates a series of pleasing biographical sketches."-Peter Phillips, Theological Studies, Vol. 71 (2010)

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