Friday, May 01, 2009

President Vin

Three weeks before his formal arrival in the top post of the church in England and Wales, Archbishop-elect Vincent Nichols of Westminster was elected to the presidency of the two nations' episcopal conference yesterday by unanimous acclamation.

A former general secretary of the CBCEW, as the body's president Nichols, 63, succeeds his Westminster predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

The archbishops of Westminster are traditionally elected to lead the body of English and Welsh bishops; the top churchman in Wales, Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, was named the conference's vice-president.

On 20 May, the two-day rites for Nichols' installation as the eleventh archbishop begin with Solemn Vespers in Westminster Cathedral. The following day, the BBC will go live as a congregation of some 2,000 -- including friends, peers, MPs and Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles -- take part in the Installation Mass itself.