Archbishop Cormac and the 21st Century Church

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9780006281696: Archbishop Cormac and the 21st Century Church

First biographical study on the new Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who succeeds Cardinal Basil Hume.

This is an immediate and comprehensive summary of the new spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in England. His schooling, student days, early church ministry and rise through the Catholic hierarchy will be covered.

Bishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor was born in Reading on 24 August 1932. He is currently Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, and was elected to this Diocese on 17 November 1977.

The challenges faced by the church today will also be explored.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.


Archbishop Cormac and the 21st Century Church is a book in three parts. There is a brief summary of the life and career of Cormac Murphy-O'Connor before he became Archbishop of Westminster; then the bulk of the book is devoted to a serious analysis of some of the major issues facing the Roman Catholic Church in Britain at the start of the 21st century; finally the author, well-known Catholic journalist Nick Baty, also gives himself space to issue something of a personal plea for unity to his fellow British Catholics.

The section on the archbishop is, of necessity, the least satisfactory. Because the book was rushed out very quickly, there was little time for research and analysis, so we get a potted biography supplemented by glowing tributes to the new archbishop from his friends and acquaintances. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor no doubt fully deserves all this praise, but it's not the most enlightening of narratives. The consideration of the issues the Church faces is much more reflective. All the usual suspects are covered--married priests, female ordination, homosexuality et al--and Baty takes a journalistic approach (naturally) which involves a great deal of listening to individuals telling their stories rather than highbrow abstract argument and analysis. He writes from what a sympathetic reader might call a "liberal but loyal" perspective and his thoughts on these big issues will still be worth reading when this book's brief notes on the Cardinal's career have long been superseded by a full-scale biography or two. --David Pickering

From the Back Cover:

The successor to Cardinal Hume and the challenges he faces

As a young man Cormac Murphy O'Connor gained degrees in theology and philosophy in Rome, but still found time to pursue his musical and sporting interests. He was even offered a job with one of Italy's leading professional rugby sides.

When he was ordained priest in 1956 the Catholic Church in England was expanding rapidly and he and his contemporaries were ready to convert the whole nation. When he became bishop of Arundel and Brighton he took over a diocese built in the mutual love and support of people, priests and bishop. But for the man leading the four million Catholics in England and Wales things could be very different – controversies and divisions await him.

What kind of church does Archbishop Cormac inherit at the start of a new millennium? What are the tasks for the man stepping into the shoes of Cardinal House? In a church that has been noted for its tradition and cohesion, how will Archbishop Cormac bring both diplomacy and strength? How will he fare?

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Baty, Nick
Published by HarperCollins Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada (2000)
ISBN 10: 0006281699 ISBN 13: 9780006281696
New Soft cover Quantity Available: 1
G3 Books
(Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

Book Description HarperCollins Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada, 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Unread and unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # 012675

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