On Wednesday 4th October, Cardinal Vincent, along with Archbishop Adams, the Apostolic Nuncio, and bishops and priests of the diocese, celebrated a memorial Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor at the Cathedral. The Mass was attended by HRH the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, members of the diplomatic core, and many of the faithful of the diocese.
It was an occasion of thanksgiving for the gift of Cardinal Cormac. As Cardinal Vincent explained in his homily, Cardinal Cormac ‘was truly a great gift of God. We miss him. This evening we thank God for him and we pray for him.’
Cardinal Cormac ‘knew that all he had, by way of natural abilities and acquired experience, competence and wisdom, was a gift of God. He knew it was to be used for the common good, a good which excludes nobody, the good the Church is always called to serve.’
Cardinal Cormac took his new role as Cardinal seriously, putting himself ‘heart and soul’ into making the most of these opportunities: ‘He raised his voice on many issues of the day: the war in Iraq; respect for human life, in its beginnings and all its weaknesses; the plight of undocumented workers in this country, in the campaign “Strangers into Citizens”.’
Speaking of Cardinal Cormac’s many achievements, Cardinal Vincent said: ‘With humility and determination, he took decisive initiatives for the protection of children and vulnerable people within the Catholic Church, tracing a pathway which has stood the test of recent years.’
Cardinal Cormac also served the Papacy and universal Church in many ways. ‘He used his great gift for friendship to press forward in the search for the unity of Christians for which he worked all his life.’
Cardinal Vincent spoke of the, ‘two great loves’ that filled Cardinal Cormac’s heart: ‘a love of life, expressed especially through family and friends, and love of his Catholic faith, expressed in his enduring love for the Church. These two loves, intertwined and inseparable, gave him a strong foundation for his life’s work, with all its difficulties, failures and considerable achievements.’
At the end of Mass Cardinal Vincent proceeded to Cardinal Cormac’s tomb for a moment of silent prayer.