Francis Phillips My antidote to a trendy holiday COMMENT PAGE 12
Mary Kenny Why I’m a convert to female boxing COMMENT PAGE 12
David Twiston Davies The military expert revolted by war CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
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Cardinal says splitting from state would help Anglicans
Pope to visit Lebanon despite fears of civil war
BY DAVID V BARRETT
DISESTABLISHMENT of the Church of England will happen at some point, and could be of benefit to Anglicans, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has said.
In an exclusive interview with The Catholic Herald the cardinal, who is 80 today, said that people often ask him: “Do you think the Church of England should be disestablished?”
“I say: ‘I think it will be. But it’s not for us to ask for it.’ They must decide when they think it’s better, for the sake of the Gospel, to be disestablished,” he said. “I think it will happen and I think it might be of benefit to Anglicans if it did at some point. They obviously think that at the moment it’s an advantage to them, and I respect that. But I think it will change with time.”
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was cochairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) for nearly two decades. He spoke of how he became involved with ecumenical work, particularly with Anglicans.
“When I was brought up we looked at Anglicans and other Christians with suspicion. They were beyond the pale. But now we were told: no, they’re our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we’re not fully united. Now, that demands a new attitude.”
He said that when he started with ARCIC his hope was that “even if there wouldn’t be absolutely full unity we could recognise their orders”, although women priests was to become an obstacle.
Throughout the interview the cardinal spoke warmly of people he has worked closely with, both bishops and politicians. He said that the relation-
I think the Church of England will be disestablished and it might be of benefit
“if it was
For the latest
Catholic news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk ship between Pope Benedict XVI and Dr Rowan Williams is “very warm”.
“Rowan Williams is very spiritual, very learned and, in a way, very Catholic in his views,” he said.
Derek Warlock, Archbishop of Liverpool from 1976 to 1996, was “an extraordinary man... he was very, very talented, an extraordinary organiser.”
He had a special relationship with Tony Blair, he said: “There’s no doubt he’s a very believing man. Every time I went to see him I wanted to talk about policy and he wanted to talk about theology.”
He also got on well with Gordon Brown, “chiefly because he was very keen on help for the poorest in Africa. I brought him out to Rome when he was Chancellor to talk to a meeting of cardinals and bishops. I thought his heart was in the right place.”
There will be a Mass of thanksgiving to celebrate the Cardinal’s 80th birthday in Westminster Cathedral on Friday September 21. Although he remains a cardinal, from today he retires from his offices in the Curia, and will no longer vote in a papal conclave. He also expressed a wish that his successor, Archbishop Vincent Nichols would be “a cardinal before very long”.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor reminisced about the last conclave, and the moment when Cardinal Ratzinger announced his new name of Benedict. “I think every cardinal had a name up his sleeve just in case!” He added: “I never seriously thought it would be me,” but said that had he been elected “I had three in my mind. Adrian, because Adrian IV was the English one. Then I thought of Gregory. And I thought of Benedict.” Feature: Pages 8-9 Editorial Comment: Page 13
POPE BENEDICT XVI’S visit to Lebanon will go ahead, a Vatican spokesman has confirmed, despite increasing fears that the conflict in Syria is spreading to its neighbour.
During the trip, from September 14 to 16, the Pope will present a document addressing the Church’s concerns in the Middle East, based on a special Synod held in the Vatican in 2010.
He will also meet with representatives of Christian and Muslim communities, including bishops from 22 Eastern Catholic Churches. Report: Page 6
Gone With the Wind legacy left to Church
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Atlanta has received several million dollars from the estate of the nephew of Margaret Mitchell, including a 50 per cent share of the trademark and literary rights to her best-selling novel Gone With the Wind.
The estate of Joseph Mitchell included a multi-million-dollar bequest to the archdiocese and the donation of his home in Atlanta.
One of two sons of Margaret Mitchell’s brother, Stephen, Joseph Mitchell died in October 2011. He was a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King and asked that, if possible, his donation assist the cathedral.
Deacon Steve Swope, who has been overseeing the transition of the bequest on behalf of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory said: “It is a magnificent gift.”
The inheritance passed on to the archdiocese includes a collection of signed Gone With the Wind first editions. A library of books includes histories and signed first editions of the late Georgia Catholic author Flannery O’Connor’s novels and short stories.
Joseph Mitchell, who died aged 76, was the last direct descendant of the Mitchell family. His brother, Eugene, a generous benefactor of Morehouse College and School of Medicine, as was Margaret Mitchell, died in 2007. Eugene’s widow, Virginia, is still living. The two brothers had each inherited a trust with a half share of the literary and trademark rights to the celebrated novel written by their late aunt.
The movie rights were sold immediately after the book was published in 1936 to instantaneous success. Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for her work and, according to Publishers Weekly, the novel continues to sell in the United States at a rate of about 75,000 copies a year.
The Catholic roots of the Mitchell family come through Margaret and Stephen’s mother, Maybelle Stephens Mitchell, whose father, John Stephens, was born in Ireland and whose mother, Annie Fitzgerald Stephens, descends from one of the earliest Catholic families in Georgia.
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Christians in hiding after a girl, 11, is charged with blasphemy
BY ED WEST
PAKISTAN’S notorious blasphemy laws have sparked worldwide revulsion after an 11-year-old Christian girl was arrested and charged with desecrating pages of the Koran.
Rimsha Masih, who is said to have Down’s syndrome, could face the death penalty as a result.
Police say the girl was arrested last week in a Christian area of the capital, Islamabad, after a furious crowd demanded she be punished.
Officials said the girl could not properly answer police questions, but under pressure from the mob she and her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats. Many other Christian families have fled the neighbourhood after unrest erupted.
State media said that President Asif Ali Zardari had “taken notice” of the reports of the arrest and asked Pakistan’s interior ministry to present a report to him. Wilson Chowdhry, spokesman for the British Pakistani Christian Association, called it a “new and appalling low in the ongoing abuse of blasphemy laws”. Critics say the laws allow local bullies to persecute neighbours, and at least 10 people accused of the crime have been murdered.
Last year minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer were both assassinated after speaking out against the laws,
following the imprisonment of farm worker Asia Bibi,
Last month an angry crowd seized a mentally handicapped man accused of blasphemy from a police station and burned him to death in the Bahawalpur area of Punjab province.
Shahbaz’s brother Paul Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister for national harmony, said it was “unlikely [the girl] purposefully desecrated the Koran”. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Pope to bless Harley Davidson motorbikes
BY ED WEST
POPE BENEDICT XVI will bless Harley Davidson bikes at the Vatican next June as part of the Milwaukee manufacturer ’s 110th anniversary, the company announced this week.
The popular b r and o f heavyweight motorcycles is celebrating i t s longevity with a small selection of anniversary models and a series of events that will begin next week and extend to 15 countries around the world including Austria, New Zealand, Africa, China, Italy and the Vatican City f rom June 13 to 16 next year.
Although the Holy Father is not expected to ride any of the bikes, it will not be h i s f i r s t experience o f motorbikes since becoming Pope.
In 2010 the Pontiff was presented with a gift of two Ducati Multistrada motorcyles with special yellow and white livery and modified siren and radio equipment for his official security motorcade.
Vatican paper calls for sale of bald Barbie BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE VATICAN’S official newspaper has given its seal of approval to a bald version of the popular Barbie doll, designed for children who lose their hair following chemotherapy.
An article in L’Osservatore Romano praised the doll, which manufacturer Mattel is already distributing free to children’s hospitals following a Facebook campaign earlier this year by the mother of an American girl who had had chemotherapy.
“Beautiful and Bald Barbie” comes with wigs, hats and head scarves.
The writer, historian Giulia
The bald version of the doll
Galeotti, criticised Barbie’s “perfect and unreal” figure which is a symbol of “plastic beauty and vacuous blondeness”, but she gave Mattel credit for the diversity of its dolls, including one, Barbie’s friend Becky, in a wheelchair.
She urged the company to sell the bald Barbie in toy shops.
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