2014-02-25 08:27:25

Cardinal Nichols on his priorities and a pontificate of 'startling radical renewal'

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster says attention to the poor is one of his top priorities for ministry and he announced he’ll be chairing a second international conference in the Vatican on combatting human trafficking. Speaking at a press conference on Monday following the consistory in which he received his red hat from Pope Francis, Archbishop Nichols said creative engagement with the business world and a focus on parish life were his other two top concerns.

Philippa Hitchen reports: RealAudioMP3

Addressing a packed press conference at the Venerable English College, the oldest English institution in the Eternal City, Cardinal Nichols spoke about the strong sense of universal Church he’d experienced over the past weekend and preceding days of discussions with his brother cardinals. He talked at length about their deliberations on family life which will be at the heart of the next Synod of Bishops in October, stressing the need for greater pastoral care for those in difficult family situations.

‘That debate was characterized by a keen awareness of the distress of many people….’

Announcing his three priorities as parish life, creative engagement with business and attention to the poor, the new cardinal said he’d be chairing a conference in the Vatican in April focused on the work the Church in the UK has been doing to combat human trafficking

‘This conference brings together Church leaders and law enforcement officers from around the world….’

Cardinal Nichols also answered questions about ecumenical relations, about a recent UN report on clerical sex abuse and about ministry to England’s gay and lesbian Catholic community. Asked what kind of reforms he expects Pope Francis to introduce, the cardinal said he sees this pontificate in terms of a radical renewal which challenges each and every member of the Church….

‘I think he’s a Pope of startling radical renewal of the Church……’

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