Pope Francis has written to Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols expressing his “heartfelt condolences” upon the death of his predecessor, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor died on Friday after falling ill last month. The Pope praised his service to the Catholic Church in England and Wales, applauding his “unwavering devotion to the preaching of the Gospel and the care of the poor, and his far-sighted commitment to the advancement of ecumenical and interreligious understanding.”
Pope Francis and Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor were raised to the rank of cardinal at the same consistory in February 2001.
The full text of the Pope’s letter reads:
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop emeritus of Westminster, I hasten to offer my heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese.
Recalling with immense gratitude the late Cardinal’s distinguished service to the Church in England and Wales, his unwavering devotion to the preaching of the Gospel and the care of the poor, and his far-sighted commitment to the advancement of ecumenical and interreligious understanding, I willingly join you in commending his noble soul to the infinite mercies of God our heavenly Father.
To all who mourn his passing in the sure hope of the Resurrection I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord.