|UK||CATHOLIC REFORMER TO REPLACE HUME|
67 year old Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has been named to succeed Cardinal Basil Hume as spiritual leader of the 4.1 million Catholics in England and Wales.
Bishop Murphy-O'Connor, who has been bishop of Arundel and Brighton since 1977, will be installed at an inaugural mass at the end of March. He is expected to be created a cardinal within a year.
He made his international reputation as co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), the body that handles discussions with the Anglicans.
He was one of the Catholic bishops to take a lead in receiving into the Catholic ministry those Anglican clergy, married and unmarried, who were disaffected by the ordination of women. He also has a reputation as a skilled pastor. While Cardinal Hume had a high national profile, he left a diocese suffering from low clergy morale. The bishop is currently organising the first synod in the history of his diocese. Heading the list of his concerns is how to cope with ever-declining numbers of clergy and limited finances.