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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 25.08.2012]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.






Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop emeritus of Westminster, Great Britain, was born on 24 August 1932 in Reading, Great Britain. He was ordained for the Diocese of Portsmouth on 28 October 1956 and holds licentiates in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

He served as a curate in Portsmouth and Fareham, and was director of vocations and secretary to then-Bishop Derek Worlock. He was later parish priest of Immaculate Conception, Southampton, for a year before being named rector of the Venerable English College, Rome (1971-1977).

On 17 November 1977 he was appointed Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, and received episcopal ordination on 21 December.

From 1982 to 2000 he was co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and also served as chairman of several committees of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

His promotion to Archbishop of Westminster was announced on 15 February 2000.

In November 2000 he was elected President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. and served until May 2009. 

Served as Vice President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE), 2001-2006.

Attended the X Ordinary Assembly of Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 27, 2001 and the XI General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 23, 2005.

Archbishop emeritus of Westminster, 3 April 2009.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Maria sopra Minerva (Holy Mary above Minerva).


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