- Archbishop of Westminster
The Archbishop of Westminster heads the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, in England. The incumbentis the Metropolitan of the Province of Westminster and, as a matter of custom, is elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Englandand Wales, and therefore de facto spokesman of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Since the establishment of the hierarchy in 1850 each successive Archbishop of Westminster has been raised to the rank of cardinal.
With the gradual abolition of the legal restrictions on the activities of Catholics in England and Wales in the early 19th century,
Romedecided to proceed to bridge the gap of the centuries from Queen Elizabeth I by instituting Catholic dioceses on the regular historical pattern. Thus Pope Pius IXissued the Bull " Universalis Ecclesiae" of September 29, 1850by which thirteen new dioceses, which did not formally claim any continuity with the pre-Elizabethan English dioceses, were created.
The Ecclesistical Titles Act had already been proposed by the British Parliament and was passed in 1851 as an anti-Catholic measure precisely to prevent any newly created Catholic dioceses from taking existing Anglican diocesan names, forbidding the wearing of (Anglican) clerical dress or setting bells in Catholic places of worship. It was repealed by Gladstone in 1871.
One of these newly created diocese was the Archdiocese of Westminster, the sole Metropolitan See at that time. However, under
Pope Pius X, on October 28, 1911, two new Provinces of Liverpool and Birmingham were created, and Westminster retained as suffragan dioceses only Northampton, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Southwark. These increased when under Pope Benedict XVa Bull of July 20, 1917, fixed the seat of a new diocese corresponding to the County of Essex, detached now from Westminster, at Brentwood, making it a suffragan of Westminster.
During the pontificate of
Pope Paul VI, on May 28, 1965, a new Province of Southwark was erected, with as its suffragans Portsmouth, detached from Westminster, Plymouth, detached from Birmingham, and a new diocese of Arundel and Brighton erected in the Counties of Sussex and Surrey with territory taken from the diocese of Southwark. Westminster retained as suffragan dioceses only Northampton, Nottingham and Brentwood. Subsequently these were joined by a new diocese of East Anglia, erected with territory from the Northampton diocese in the Counties of Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk by Paul VI on March 13, 1976.
The previous Catholic jurisdiction in the London area was a Vicariate headed by the
Vicar Apostolic of the London District.
The archdiocese presently covers an area of 3,634 km² of the
London Boroughs north of the River Thames, together with the districts of Stainesand Sunbury-on-Thamesand the County of Hertfordshire. The see is in the City of Westminster, the Archbishop's "cathedra" or seat is located at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of the "Most Precious Holy Blood, Saint Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint Peter", usually referred to as Westminster Cathedral, which is set back from Victoria Street.
The Archbishop's residence is Archbishop's House, Ambrosden Avenue, London.
The current archbishop is
Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, the 10th Metropolitan Archbishop of Westminster.
Title of primate
Among the old European Catholic Sees (i.e.,
Paris, Prague, Lyons, Cologne, etc.), the Archbishop of Westminster is referred to as the valid Primate of England and Wales. However, in the United Kingdom, this is not legally correct, since the title is formally claimed only by the archbishops of the established Church of England, and is applied to the Archbishop of York as "Primate of England", and the Archbishop of Canterbury, as "Primate of All England". In global Catholicism, however, the last time there was an erected Catholic Primate of England in the UK, accepted by the state, was prior to the Reformation.
List of the Archbishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, England
Religion in the United Kingdom
Catholic Church in Great Britain
Lists of office-holders
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Archbishop of Westminster — Archbishop of West|min|ster, the the priest who is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales … Dictionary of contemporary English
Archbishop of Westminster — the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. * * * … Universalium
Gentiluomo of the Archbishop of Westminster — The Gentiluomo of the Archbishop of Westminster, in the Roman Catholic Church of the United Kingdom, was a bodyguard (compare the royal Gentleman at arms) and personal attendant to the Archbishop. The title originates from the Latin gentilis homo … Wikipedia
(the) Archbishop of Westminster — the Archbishop of Westminster [the Archbishop of Westminster] the head of the ↑Roman Catholic Church in Britain … Useful english dictionary
Westminster Cathedral — Infobox UK cathedral building name =Westminster Cathedral infobox width = image size =200px caption =Westminster Cathedral from Victoria Street map type = map size = map caption = location = full name =The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Precious… … Wikipedia
Westminster Abbey — • This most famous of all English abbeys is situated within the precincts of the Royal Palace of Westminster Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey … Catholic encyclopedia
Westminster Cathedral — • A national expression of religious faith given by Roman Catholics to England Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Westminster Cathedral Westminster Cathedral … Catholic encyclopedia
Westminster Abbey — For other uses, see Westminster Abbey (disambiguation). Westminster Abbey The Abbey s western façade Location: City of Westminst … Wikipedia
Westminster Assembly — The Westminster Assembly of Divines was appointed by the Long Parliament to restructure the Church of England. The Assembly met for six years (1643 1649), and in the process produced the documents which are the major Confessional Standards of the … Wikipedia
Archbishop of Liverpool — This article is about the bishop in the Catholic Church, for the bishop in the Church of England, see: Bishop of Liverpool. The Archbishop of Liverpool heads the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool in England. As such he is the Metropolitan… … Wikipedia