DR JAMES LE FANU ON THE RISE IN DEPRESSION WHY PILLS ALONE ARE FAILING TO MAKE BRITAIN A HAPPIER PLACE PAGE 9
October 9 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Pope’s surprise choice for Birmingham Bishop Bernard Longley is Archbishop Nichols praises Westminster auxiliary to play ‘taken aback’ by appointment Archbishop-elect’s ‘joyful faith’ key role in Newman beatification
BY ED WEST
IN A surprise move, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Bernard Longley as the new Archbishop of Birmingham.
The Vatican announced the appointment last week as Bishop Longley appeared at a press conference at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Chad in Birmingham.
Bishop Longley, who is 54 and has been a bishop for just six years, said his appointment was unexpected.
He said: “You can imagine I was quite taken aback. I was very surprised to be invited to come to Birmingham, thinking there would not be an appointment for several months to come. I was delighted that the Holy Father had asked me to be to archbishop here.”
The archdiocese covers a large swathe of England, including the counties of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, where Bishop Longley attended university in the 1970s.
He said: “Having been to university in the very south of the diocese in the 1970s I would say I have had a long and intermittent relationship with the diocese, and I hope I will continue to have a long relationship.”
He said that the papal visit in September and the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, expected at the same time, would be “a tremendous blessing, and a living proof of the faith”.
Bishop Longley has been an auxiliary bishop at Westminster for six years and said it was “a wonderful experience”.
“I’ m very grateful for the experience. One of the things which makes me think I will be at home here is that, having lived in east London, the tremendous ethnic diversity, the cultural mix is also very much here in Birmingham. I’ ve lived in Tower Hamlets, quite close to Hackney, and the problems which the local community have been facing there are similar to those faced here.”
Archbishop-elect Bernard Longley of Birmingham blesses a baby during a Mass for travellers at the Marian shrine of Walsingham Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, the previous Archbishop of Birmingham, paid tribute to his successor’s qualities.
“I welcome the news of the appointment of Bishop Bernard Longley as Archbishop of Birmingham,” he said. “I am confident that he will be warmly welcomed, right across the archdiocese. The clergy, religious and laity of the archdiocese will ap-
preciate the qualities he brings: his gentleness and sensitivity; his firmness and intelligence; his profound and joyful faith; his willingness to listen.
“I am sure, too, that Bishop Bernard will grow to love this fine archdiocese, just as I did.”
Bishop Longley was introduced at the press conference by Bishop William Kenney, the administrator of Birmingham
archdiocese, who said he was delighted by the appointment.
He said: “We look forward to Bishop Bernard becoming a follower in the footsteps of Bishop Ullathorne, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham, and to his taking a lead in the preparations for the beatification of Cardinal Newman.”
Bishop Longley said that one of the factors in his appointment
might be his experience of dealing with people from other Christian denominations and faiths.
“The ecumenical experience is something which may be significant. Where I live over 30 per cent of the population was from Bangladesh. Maybe the family background helped, the experience of living in different parts of England was part of my life.”
In an interview with The Catholic Herald he insisted that the appointment was completely unexpected.
“It could not have been further from my own thoughts,” he said. “After seven years in Westminster I would have expected to do another 21 years but I suppose one is always alert to the possibility of going somewhere else. But because of the short length of time
[since Archbishop Nichols’s move to Westminster] I imagined the seat would be filled next year.”
He said he was looking forward to getting to know the deaneries, diocesan clergy and religious, and said that the people of the diocese had a great role to play in the papal visit.
“I’m sure this diocese will be involved in a papal visit, and because of the beatification of Cardinal Newman, we will be a major part of the programme,” he said.
Bishop Longley is considered a moderate conservative although he was supportive of controversial “gay-friendly” Masses in central London. This year, as the head of the Day for Life campaign, which focused on suicide, he also presented the Church as having a compassionate attitude towards people who kill themselves.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme that Church teaching had not changed but that “our understanding of human nature has deepened”.
He said: “The Catechism says we should not despair for the souls of those who have committed suicide.”
Fr Paul Chavasse, Actor for the Cause of Cardinal Newman’s canonisation and provost of the Birmingham Oratory, also welcomed Bishop Longley’s appointment.
Fr Chavasse said: “I welcome with great joy the announcement that Bernard Longley is the new Archbishop of Birmingham. It has brought great delight to the faithful in Birmingham that the Holy Father has appointed a new archbishop so quickly.
“We at the Oratory, preparing for the beatification of our founder Cardinal Newman, look forward to working very closely with Archbishop Bernard in bringing these preparations to fulfilment in union with the archdiocese.”
Archbishop-elect Longley will be installed on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Editoral comment: Page 13
Newman’s Miracle Jack Sullivan gives the CTS Lecture 2009
10 Nov 2009, 7.15pm, London Oratory
Condoms will not stop Aids epidemic, says African cardinal
In this free public lecture, Deacon Jack Sullivan tells the inspiring story of his cure through Newman’s intercession.
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BY CAROL GLATZ IN ROME
CONDOMS are not effective in preventing the spread of HIV/Aids in Africa, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Cape Coast, Ghana, has said.
Abstinence, fidelity in marriage and universal access to antiretroviral drugs were the strategies the Church continued to promote in the fight against Aids, he said.
The cardinal, 60, made the comments while presenting some of the issues to be dis-
cussed during the Synod of Bishops for Africa.
He said that when “people propose the use of condoms it becomes effective only in families where they are going to be faithful”.
But condoms give “people a false sense of security, which rather facilitates the spread of HIV/Aids,” he said.
Condoms cannot be relied upon to provide 100 per cent protection against transmission because “there are condoms in Ghana, which ... burst
during sex,” he said. Because there is always a chance condoms might break during intercourse, he said he was reluctant to recommend condom use even to married couples in which one partner is infected with HIV, he said.
The priorities for African bishops would remain “abstinence and loyalty and fidelity” within marriage, he said.
Cardinal Turkson said he would rather see the resources spent on manufacturing and providing prophylactics to
Africa be earmarked for subsidising antiretroviral drugs for the people there.
Cardinal Turkson was also asked if it was possible for the Church to have a black Pope. “Why not?” the cardinal replied. “If God would wish to see a black man also as Pope, thanks be to God.” Cardinal Turkson said the election of a black Pope was a real possibility since there were various African cardinals.
Synod report: Page 5
Pope to canonise Comedian’s new film Damien of Molokai riles Church critic
ARCO POPE B
ENEDICT XVI will canoni se Hawaii’s first saint on Sun day. Blesse
d Damien de Veuste r, also known as Damien
of Molokai, was a Belgia n missionary priest who we nt to minister to a Hawaii an leper colony, where he eve ntually succumbed to the di sease. The Ho
ly Father will canoni
se him along with four others
in St Peter’s Square. They i nclude the founder of the co ngregation of the Little Sister s of the Poor, Jeanne Jugan; a Spanish Dominican, Franci sco Coll y Guitart; Pol- ish Fr anciscan Zygmumt Szczes ny and Spanish Cister- cian m ystic Rafael Baron. A reti
red school teacher in Hawaii , Audrey Toguchi, was inexpl icably cured from can- cer af ter praying for Blessed Damien ’s intercession, pro- viding
a second miracle needed for canonisation. Janet
Fearns: Page 8
BY STAFF WRITER
RICKY GERVAIS’S directorial debut, a satire on religion, has been attacked by the American Church.
The Invention of Lying sees the comedian behind sitcoms as a man in a liefree, atheistic world who discovers the ability to deceive others.
John Mulderig, film critic of the US bishops’ conference,
called it a “venomous supposed comedy”. He wrote: “Gervais ... launches an allout, sneering assault on the foundations of religious faith such as has seldom, if ever, been seen in a mainstream film, despicably belittling
beliefs. Not only Catholics but believ-
ers of every stripe and, indeed, peo-
ple of good will generally will be well-advised to shun this calculated cinematic insult.”
E BRITONS WHO INSPIRED BENEDICT XVI PAGE 8
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