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Reasons why Cardinal Nichols could be pope

Former Tablet editor Catherine Pepinster, in a blog post for the magazine’s website, noted that Britain already has one top official at the Vatican: Archbishop Paul Gallagher, secretary for relations with states, in effect the pope’s foreign minister. But, she argued, there were good reasons to think that in the future a British prelate could occupy an even more elevated spot.

She said there was a “certain murmuring in the trattorie around Vatican walls” about who might succeed Pope Francis. Some hope for a Pope who “would not be a divisive figure, who might draw together different parts of the Church, who bridges the gap between faith and the secular world, who knows Rome but has a strong pastoral background as well”. It’s not too much to say that, given these priorities, “thoughts may well turn” to Cardinal Nichols.

Why Catholicism embraces oddballs

David Mills at Aleteia quoted a Southern Baptist pastor turning away an “issue Christian” – someone with a pet issue who would be a nuisance – with the words “this would not be the right church for you”.

The “issue Christian” can be annoying, Mills wrote. “He’s the one who calls at odd hours to pick apart a sermon or … traps you after Mass when you need to ask Mrs Smith how her husband is doing after the surgery.”

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