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Address at a luncheon hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs:

E.F. Schumacher the author of Small is Beautiful, once recalled how, on a visit to Leningrad, he consulted a street map but could not make out where he was. 'I could see several enormous churches, yet there was no trace of any of them on my map.' He had a map: but no bearings. Communist Russia treated churches as though they did not exist.

For Schumacher a penny had dropped. As in Leningrad, so in life: his education he decided had equipped him with a dud map. He had in effect been launched into uncharted waters. His map was detailed as far as the things of this world were concerned - things that scientific method and reasoning could reveal. It was sketchy, to say the least, when it came to the things he needed to negotiate the shallows, reefs and currents of everyday life - the values and beliefs which make our map three dimensional, readable: or in a word, real. There were no contours.

I think there is a lesson here for us all, and particularly those concerned with the education of young people.

22 February 2002

Address to mark the close of the Bicentenary anniversary of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman's birth

Birmingham Oratory

Fr Provost, fellow guests, Bishop Philip, dear friends, it is a great pleasure for me to be with you this evening to mark the close of the Bicentenary Year honouring the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. I don't suppose there is a person in this church who doesn't know who Newman was. Most of us I suspect have a very personal interest in him, and will have been moved by an encounter, literary or spiritual, or most likely both, with either his obvious holiness, his towering intellect, or his uncompromising devotion to the Church and her development. Newman was the quintessential man of faith and of reason. The man wedded to truth, mindful not only of the tradition of the Church, but of the vital importance of an informed conscience. A man at once completely of his time - a time of great upheaval in the Church - and, in so many ways, far ahead of his time...
21 February 2002

Millennium Conference Centre, London:

It is not that often that an address by Pope John Paul II makes the Today programme particularly when it concerns an address to the annual meeting of the 20 prelates of the Roman Rota - the Vatican's final court of appeal on issues of Church law.

In fact the Today programme - in a rather partial and incomplete account of what the Holy Father said -stumbled into something far more important: a debate about the crucial importance of marriage to the health of our society. Which is why we are all here today...
08 February 2002

Irish Post:

In a new year's message, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor talks to John Crowley about his first year as leader of England and Wales' 4.2million Catholics

CARDINAL Cormac Murphy-O'Connor still remembers the day he received his vocation to the priesthood.

More than 50 years later in a stately sitting room of Archbishop's House in London, the 68-year-old prelate sits back and is lost for a second in a vivid childhood memory.

'I can still remember the moment,' he says smiling to himself. Did his call to the priesthood involve a vision or a thunderbolt from the sky? Perhaps not. 'My father was out doing calls, I was 15, and he said: 'What do you want to do?' And I remember saying: 'I want to be a priest'. I remember saying it, but I was a bit surprised that it came out so firmly as if it had been going through my mind.'
05 January 2002

'Duc in altum! ', 'Put out into the deep'. These are the words that ring out in John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, as an encouragement for the Third Millennium. They are also the challenging and encouraging words that Jesus addressed to his disciples (Lk 5:4) as he invited them to start afresh from Him in their work. They are the words that provide a good starting point for how we might go forward as a community of faith. We might say that Novo Millenio Ineunte is the pastoral programme for putting out into the deep, a guide for the Church's journey that relaunches the Church towards the future.
01 January 2002

Daily Telegraph :

VICTORIA COMBE talks to Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor about his hopes for a New Year revival in Christianity

Tonight Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will lead the most prominent religious service this Christmas. It will be broadcast live from Westminster Cathedral on BBC1 and is a sign that this softly-spoken bishop is now recognised as a national religious leader...
24 December 2001

Sunday Telegraph :

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, reflects on evil in our world and why Christ's coming is so significant as the antidote

Who can doubt, as we look at our world today, that there is much suffering and much that is evil. Our experiences during life help us to understand more fully the lacrimae rerum - the tears that are at the heart of the human condition. There is the suffering of those stricken with illness, whether mental or physical; there is the pain of the loss of a loved one, and there is the suffering and misery of those who are without food, are afflicted by disease and who die young. Then there is the experience of evil: people who are cruel to each other, who inflict pain in terrible ways.

23 December 2001

In the Guardian:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, suggests that faith in Christ is not opposed to reason but is about seeking truth and primarily about how to live

The aftermath of September 11 has left many people troubled about the destructive power of warped religious fervour. It is clear that one element in those appalling attacks was the harnessing of religious zeal in the cause of terrorist aims, but the attacks have been condemned not least by many prominent Muslims. A wider debate has now opened up about the place and the power of religion, which the coming feast of Christmas prompts afresh....
22 December 2001

Article in the Independent on Sunday:

This Christmas Eve Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor will celebrate midnight mass live on BBC1 - the most high-profile church service on television this festive season. It will be a highly significant occasion for the cardinal, the leader of Britain's 4.2 million Roman Catholics. For it will be the moment when he might finally step out of the shadows of his predecessor, the late Cardinal Basil Hume, the gentle monk who became one of the most respected religious leaders of his time.

The service in Westminster Cathedral will no doubt be a great liturgical occasion, full of pomp and ceremony, but it will be Murphy O'Connor's words that will be picked apart. Christmas is clearly a moment for a senior ecclesiastical figure to make his mark, and the last time this 68-year-old prelate made a major public statement, he shocked people with his pessimistic comments on Christianity. It was, said the cardinal, almost vanquished.

16 December 2001

In the Telegraph:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, says the Government's proposed Bill squanders a vital opportunity

I am convinced that the systematic manipulation of life through cloning, namely creating new lives for scientific research, is a dereliction of our ethical responsibilities. There has rarely been a stronger case for serious political attention to be given to a scientific issue.

Last week's High Court judgement revealed a disturbing chasm in our legislation, by rejecting the Government's intention to allow cloning only for experimental reasons. The Government has now introduced an emergency Bill in response to this judgement. There is indeed a need to act quickly, but the legislation must be well focused....
23 November 2001

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