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English cardinal reflects on offer to join House of Lords

September 03, 2012

The retired Archbishop of Westminster says that he is happy he declined an appointment to the British House of Lords.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor disclosed in a lengthy interview that he consulted with members of the British hierarchy and also with the Vatican Secretariat of State before declining the offer, which was made by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The cardinal said that he had no regrets, because “I would be involved in matters that were beyond my brief and might have caused me some hassle and difficulty.”

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor also reflected on his relations with Queen Elizabeth II, saying that he was “quite nervous” when he became the first Catholic prelate in 322 years to be invited to preach before the British royal family. He also said that had met often with another former prime minister, Tony Blair, before Blair entered the Catholic Church. While Blair was leading the government, the cardinal said, “he did go against what I was saying,” but after stepping down and becoming a Catholic “he has since retracted many of his statements.”


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