Sunday, November 16, 2008

The next leader of Britain's Catholics

is tipped to be

Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Cardiff, is emerging as a strong candidate to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor when he retires in the new year.

According to sources in Rome, Archbishop Smith, 65, is being pushed for the key post by the Vatican’s ambassador in London, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, whose main role is to advise Pope Benedict XVI on appointments.

Archbishop Smith is believed to have the backing of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and has already impressed the Vatican by handling Church campaigns against abortion, euthanasia and gay adoption.

Insiders believe that he will top a secret shortlist of three or four to be submitted to Rome by the Spanish-born ambassador in the next few weeks. The ultimate decision rests with the Pope but the advice of Archbishop Munoz carries huge weight.
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