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A Catholic purge?

The appointment of an "Irishman" to lead the English Catholic church could signify a lurch to the right

By Anonymous   April 2000

The appointment of Cormac Murphy-O’Connor to succeed the impeccably English Basil Hume as archbishop of Westminster has aroused little comment. Although born and bred in Britain, Murphy-O’Connor is Irish in name and accent; after Hume’s success in making the Catholic church look much more English, he is a surprising choice. Perhaps England is a more tolerant place than when Hume was appointed in 1976. Moreover, the new archbishop has an abundance of Irish charm and a middle-class background with no trace of the bog. The more interesting question is why such an elderly man was chosen-he is 68 this year-when…

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