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Officials reassure Boston archbishop who missed red hat

Vatican officials have moved to stress Pope John Paul II's esteem for Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, even though the Holy Father neglected to appoint him to the College of Cardinals.

The absence of O'Malley's name on the list was a minor upset, given that it has been customary for the Archbishop of Boston to be made a cardinal. The Archbishop was appointed in the middle of this year to replace Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned last year.

A Vatican official quoted by Catholic News Service said that Archbishop O'Malley is "incredibly well respected" in Rome, but it was thought that he "has enough to do in Boston right now". The official said that being a cardinal is not simply an honour, but carries with it real time-consuming duties serving the universal church by being a member of Vatican congregations and councils.

"Not placing further responsibilities on his shoulders makes sense to me," the official said.

Meanwhile, Scotland's cardinal-elect has called for "full and open discussion" on clerical celibacy and birth control.

Speaking during the homily at his Mass of Thanksgiving at Edinburgh's St Mary's Cathedral, Archbishop Keith O'Brien (pictured) also acknowledged there are gay priests, and said he does not have a problem with them.

He said: "What I would ask for in the Church at every level, including the cardinal's level and the Pope's level, is to be able to have a full and open discussion about these issues to see where we stand and what the need is and what the implications are."

Catholic News Service
Edinburgh News

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston | Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley
St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh | Archbishop Keith O'Brien
Pope leaves O'Malley off his list of 31 new cardinals (Boston Globe 29/9/03)
Cardinal-elect questions Church stance on controversial issues (Catholic World News)
Vatican official calls charges against Mexican cardinal 'absurd' (Catholic News Service)
Indian cardinal-designate says nomination recognizes tribal people (Catholic News Service)
Australian cardinal-designate is no stranger to controversy (Catholic News Service)

2 Oct 2003