The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has named the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, a Cardinal. The announcement came during Pope Francis’s Angelus in St Peter's Square on 12 January, in which he created 15 more elector cardinals and three non-elector cardinals.
Archbishop Nichols issued the following statement:
“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 fulfil them with energy and devotion."
Archbishop Vincent is the 11th Archbishop of Westminster to be named as a Cardinal. He will join the College of Cardinals at the next consistory in Rome on 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.
Born in Crosby, Liverpool, 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 & Wales. From 1989 to 1996 he was moderator of the Steering Committee of the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland. Mgr 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, successor to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who had reached the retirement age of 75. Archbishop Vincent was elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales by unanimous acclamation on 30 April 2009.
To watch the video of Pope Francis announcing the names of the new Cardinals, click HERE