Former Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy O'Connor dies aged 85
The former Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy O’Connor, has died aged 85.
He became leader of the Catholic church of England and Wales in 2000 after four decades as a bishop, and Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal the following year. He retired in 2009.
In the Vatican he was for years a close ally of the current Pope Francis, but was too old to vote for him when he became Pope in 2013.
He did not entirely escape the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church in recent years, as he first offered councelling to an offending priest before removing him from his parish and placing him as a chaplain at Gatwick airport, where he re-offended. O’Connor later admitted that had been a mistake, and that he should have gone to the police.
Tributes have come in from, among others, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, and former prime minister Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office.