Thursday, March 27, 2003

Speaking of obituaries. . . .

which we were the other day. The Telegraph recently printed that of (t)he Most Reverend Bruno Heim. . . . the Vatican's first Apostolic Nuncio to Britain. He was also the "king-maker" whose influence led to the appointment of Basil Hume as Archbishop of Westminster.

There is a short discussion of how the choice was made for Primate of England. Would you like to know why Christopher Butler wasn't chosen? Well, here you are: Other possibilities included Alan Clark, Bishop of East Anglia; Father Michael Hollings, a controversial but well-known priest in the Westminster diocese; and Bishop Christopher Butler, an auxiliary bishop in Westminster and a former Abbot of Downside. Heim admitted, after retirement, that he had rejected Butler as too messy an eater. It had been impossible, he divulged, to consider someone who wore his lunch on his shirtfront.

Now you know. Such are the priorities for episcopal advancement. You should have listened to your mother all those years ago. You could be Archbishop of Boston instead of rusticating away as assistant pastor in the back of beyond.