His Holiness Pope Francis has announced that Crosby born Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, will be made a Cardinal at the next consistory on 22 February 2014. The announcement came during Pope Francis’ Angelus in St Peters Square on Sunday 12 January, in which he created 15 more elector cardinals and three non-elector cardinals.
Speaking of the appointment Archbishop Vincent said: 'Today, I am deeply moved by the honour conferred upon the Catholic Church in England and Wales and on the Diocese of Westminster in my appointment as Cardinal by His Holiness Pope Francis. The Catholic Church in our countries has always had a profound and loving loyalty to the Holy Father, the Successor of St Peter. This appointment enables me, on behalf of all, to serve the Pope in a direct and prolonged way. Personally, this is a humbling moment when I am asked to take a place in this service of the Holy See and in the line of much loved Cardinal Archbishops of Westminster. I seek the blessing of Almighty God for these new responsibilities and I ask for the prayers of all people of faith that I may fulfill them with energy and devotion.'
Archbishop Vincent is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster to be named as Cardinal. He will receive the red hat on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter in Rome at the next consistory of cardinals.
Born in Crosby on 8 November 1945, Vincent Nichols studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome from 1963 to 1970, gaining licences in philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained priest in Rome on 21 December 1969 for the Archdiocese of Liverpool. In January 1984, he was appointed general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. From 1989 to 1996 he was moderator of the Steering Committee of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland. Monsignor Vincent Nichols was appointed auxiliary bishop of Westminster, with responsibility for North London, on 24 January 1992 by Blessed John Paul II. He was named Archbishop of Birmingham in February 2000 before returning to Westminster in 2009 as Archbishop, taking over from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who had reached the retirement age of 75. He was elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales by unanimous acclamation on 30 April 2009.