English Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, a longtime leader in Catholic-Anglican relations and former archbishop of Westminster, died Sept. 1. He was 85.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was once described by The London Tablet, a Catholic weekly, as “everyone’s favorite bishop: human, genial, collaborative, imposing.’’
A leader in ecumenical relations, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor served as Catholic chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission for two decades. At a lecture in Salford, England, just a month before he was made a cardinal in 2001, he said that “unity must be our constant goal and at the heart of all that we do.’’
St. John Paul II inducted him into the College of Cardinals in February 2001 and he retired eight years later.
His death leaves the College of Cardinals with 222 members, 121 of whom are under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave.