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Episcopal Manoeuvres in the Dark

Catholic Bishops of England and Wales announced yesterday that Pope Francis

had appointed Msgr James Curry, Parish Priest at Our Lady of Victories,

Kensington, a salubrious parish in West London, as Auxiliary Bishop of

Westminster Archdiocese and Titular Bishop of Ramsbiria (Ramsbiriensis).

This news will come to no surprise to anyone paying attention to Church politics in

the United Kingdom. Msgr Jim, as he is known, has been long considered a

favoured member of the “Magic Circle”, a self-selecting small pool of like-minded

“insiders” who come through lines of patronage that can be traced back to one

man. Archbishop Derek Worlock, the progressive former Archbishop of Liverpool

and mentor to the current Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols.

What is perhaps more of a shock is that it has taken so long to arrange his

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