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UK: card. Murphy-O’Connor’s funeral service. Mgr. Stack, “a priest to the core, confident in his call”

“Full of joy and gratitude for the nurses and doctors who took care of him during the years of his illness and raring to go, because he had accomplished his mission. He probably texted the angels to hurry up”. It is with these words that the Catholic archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, described cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Catholic Church of England and Wales from 2000 to 2009, who died on September 1st at the age of 85, during the sermon for the funeral service, officiated today by the current primate, cardinal Vincent Nichols. In front of the devotees who crowded Westminster Cathedral, the mother church of English Catholicity, where the shepherd’s body had been on display since yesterday morning, monsignor Stack, who had worked with Murphy-O’Connor for ten years as auxiliary bishop of Westminster, described him as “a priest to the core, aware of his limits but firmly confident in his call”. “A really talented man who would have been successful in any career, whether medicine, music, golf or even rugby, but who decided, at a very young age, to become a priest like his two brothers”, added archbishop Stack, who also mentioned the cardinal’s establishment of the “Nolan Committee”, the committee in charge of investigating child abuse, which is “the strongest ever mechanism of its kind and an example for other institutions”.

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