I've heard this three or four times now, and Paddy hasn't. I'd have put it down to wishful thinking, except those passing on the message aren't wishful thinkers. I'd try putting it down to wishful thinking on the part of their interlocutors, but the one chain of speculation along which I managed to travel three links is distinguished by its sobriety, rather than by its vivid imagination. But I still can't believe it!
If this rumour is true, then Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, soon to be Emeritus Bishop of Lancaster, will be asked by the Holy Father to step upwards for a short (3-4 year) period.
Yes, he is about to be 75; yes, his resignation from Lancaster has been accepted; yes, his successor there has been announced. But, if you are Sovereign Pontiff, so what?
You can see why my first response was "wishful thinking".
This wouldn't be a vote for PO'D the financial genius, or for PO'D the Prelate who keeps churches open: he isn't perfect.
This would be a vote for PO'D the writer; PO'D the author of "Fit for Mission"; and for the concepts and ideas contained within it.
You can see why my first response was "wishful thinking". And don't I wish!