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Cardinal Roche explains the friendship between the Queen and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor

As head of the Church of England the Queen had dealings with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, but their relationship forged an affectionate friendship.

Sean Richardson-September 21, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
queen cardinal murphy

Translation of the article into English

Monday, September 19, marked a historic moment for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, as it finally said goodbye and gave burial of Queen Elizabeth IIwho passed away on September 8, 2022. He is one, if not the last, of those monumental figures of modern times, like St. John Paul II and Nelson Mandela, whose passing takes the whole world by surprise and causes it to pause for a moment to reflect on life.  

In recent days, we have witnessed an outpouring of affection for the late Queen and of reflections on his reign. Celebrities, politicians and ordinary citizens have expressed what she meant to them and the example she set.  

The Queen's friendship with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor

In a recent conversation with Omnes, we spoke with English Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to reflect on the impact on her life and the Church. He points out that the Queen, in the time of Cardinal Basil Hume, was the first royal to publicly visit a Catholic church for the first time on November 1, the feast of All Saints; and that she attended the celebration of Vespers in the cathedral.  

She also adds that she was very close to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, originally Archbishop of Westminster between 2000 and 2009, whom she invited on many occasions to attend the State banquets; and "also to stay with them at Sandringham and to preach at the morning service that she always attended on Sundays at Sandringham. This was a very significant step and one that spoke of her affection for Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor; but also for the Catholic community because she knew that Catholics were very faithful." 

Cardinal Roche further underscores the Queen's affection for Catholics by recalling that, during her attendance at a morning prayer in Belfast with the Presbyterians, as she "was leaving her church, she noticed that opposite was a Catholic church, so she simply crossed the street and entered the Catholic church, to discover that the Presbyterian minister and the Catholic priest had been working together for greater social cohesion among that community."

First steps of Charles III

As supreme governor of the Church of England, the importance and the example that the Queen gave to interfaith relations is something that, according to Cardinal Roche, King Charles III has tried to maintain, "during these days of mourning in which he has agreed to accede to the throne and has visited the main places of the United Kingdom. In London there was a meeting at Buckingham Palace of all the religious leaders. There he said that 'yes he was a Christian' and 'yes he was and would remain a member of the Church of England`, but that he was a man who recognized that the faithful are an important part of society for the good. He has already made a very important statement by making this meeting possible, showing its relevance. And that is that he could have met with social workers, parliamentarians, or with people from hospital services, fire departments, police, etc., but instead he met with religious leaders, which has an important significance for what he will do in the future."

The authorSean Richardson

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