Hope and joy, which is its fruit, as the keys to understand the personality and life of cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Catholic Church of England and Wales from 2000 to 2009, who died on September 1st, aged 85, after a long battle with cancer. These are the subjects chosen by the archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, for his sermon at the Solemn Vespers, celebrated tonight in front of the shepherd’s body that this morning was laid to rest in Westminster Cathedral, the mother Church of English Catholicity. Throughout the day, dozens of devotees signed the book of condolence and prayed while waiting for the funeral service, which will be celebrated tomorrow at midday by the current leader of the English Catholics, cardinal Vincent Nichols, and by the archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack. “The fact that so many ecumenical friends and leaders of other faiths are here today is a unique tribute to the efforts made by cardinal Cormac to accomplish Christ’s will for the Church”, archbishop Longley said, as he recalled the extraordinary ecumenical commitment of Murphy-O’Connor, who worked indefatigably for unity between Catholics and Anglicans, as president of the “Arcic” commission from 1982 to 2000. And he added that the just-died cardinal “deeply believed in the renewal required by the Second Vatican Council, not only for the life of every Christian but for that of the Church as well”.