03 February 2007

The Westminster Stakes - a good time to place a bet?

Paddy Power has posted the latest odds for Westminster. Here they are (earlier prices in brackets):

Rt Rev Kevin McDonald 7-2
Rt Rev Vincent Nichols 7-2
Rt Rev Alan Hopes 11-2
Fr Aidan Nichols 6-1 (5-1) (6-1)
Fr Timothy Radcliffe 6-1 (10-1) (6-1)
Bishop William Kenney 6-1
Rt Rev Patrick Kelly 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Arthur Roche 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Bernard Longley 12-1
Rt Rev Peter Smith 12-1
Rt Rev Michael Evans 16-1
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue 16-1
Fr Christopher Jamison 20-1
Bishop John Rawsthorne 20-1
Bishop John Patrick Crowley 33-1

Two things have happened that might make this list a less authoritative guide than hitherto. First, the Gay Adoption row: Archbishop Nichol's Newsnight performance is unlikely to have advanced his cause, and those members of the hierarchy who have, or have had, Catholic Adoption Agencies under their control might be expecting letters soon asking if it is really true that they have been placing children with single parents (whether gay or not).

The other is the Pope's donation of £2000 to the Cambridge University Chaplaincy. This is a sign that the Pope takes a direct interest in the Church in England and Wales, and puts Bishop Kenney's surprise appointment as Auxiliary in Birmingham into a new context: the Curial nominee for the See of Westminster will not simply be rubber stamped by the Pope.

The three Regulars are not losing ground: indeed, some money looks to have gone in the direction of Fr Timothy Radcliffe during January. The three front runners remain firmly in place, though the silence of Archbishop McDonald and Bishop Hopes leaves us little idea about what they stand for. The rest seem to be fading.

But, while Paddy Power is digesting the implications of events of the last couple of weeks, now might be a good time to camp outside the Nunciature to watch the comings and goings, and place a speculative bet.


Fr Ray Blake said...

I am surprised Radcliffe and Fitzgerald are in there, hardly Benedictine material, then neither is the Benedictine. The Birmingham auxillary is the unknown quantity, no-one quite knows why he was returned to England from Sweden.

Ttony said...

You are undoubtedly right with respect to Frs Radcliffe and Jamison and Archbishop Fitzgerald. Bear in mind that Bishop Kenney wasn't really "returned": he was sent.

Big hint about why Ttony might be placing a speculative tenner: who wrote "A POPE AND A COUNCIL ON THE SACRED LITURGY: Pope Pius XII's 'Mediator Dei' and the Second Vatican Council's 'Sacrosanctum Concilium' with a comparative study" and had it published by Franborough Abbey, home of Dom Alcuin Read, whose "Organic Development of the Liturgy" had a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger? Fr Aidan Nichols.

Fr Ray Blake said...

But no Episcopal experience, Tony, though he would be good for anyone outside of Westminster but the clergy there need nurturing.

Anonymous said...

Whereas in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton any nurturing has to be done by the diocesan, Westminster has four competent auxiliaries, so it does not matter so much if the A/b is not so hot in that direction

Ttony said...

Fr Ray: not only no episcopal experience, but not even a Priory. At least Cardinal Hume had been an Abbot.

But we have three Benedictines to think about: Archbishop McDonald, whom the Pope knew in Rome and whose appointment is alleged to have been made by the Pope in spite of the terna offered to him; Bishop Kenney, who did goodness knows what in Scandinavia, but obviously did it well; and Fr Nichols OP, with whom the Pope in evidently very close.

I did describe the tenner as speculative!