From my Roman Correspondent – pastor ignotus

“The man to watch is Archbishop Arthur Roach, Secretary of the Liturgy Congregation in Rome.

He is even more ambitious than Elsie (if such a thing can be imagined) and is pulling every string available to return to England and wear Elsie’s crown.

He is a Yorkshireman and has come up the usual route; bishops secretary, financial secretary, from which he suddenly resigned, secretary of the CBCEW, auxiliary bishop and then Bishop of Leeds.

He was shafted out of his home diocese when he had seemingly bankrupted it renovating their ghastly cathedral and his mansion in the Dales and got the cushy sinecure in Rome by sucking up to anyone with a bit of magenta on their cassocks.

And his friendship with ex Papal MC Marini (the first one who got fired for dressing the German Pope in a John Lewis Duvet covet once too often) who is his tennis partner.

They also holiday together in the luxury Italian island of Ischia. I’m told it’s his for the taking. Westminster priests better watch their backs as he is ruthless.

A vain, overweight bully, he keeps one part of his CV very quiet – the years he spent as a priest at the Veneral English College may well yet deny him what he so desperately seeks.

A far cry from Jordan’s shores! Or perhaps not?

Pat Says,

Roach is already 69 and will be well over 70 when Elsie resigns.

It’s hard to imagine The Vatican putting a 70+ year old man in Westminster.

Of course they did put Daly in Armagh when he was 70?

Westminster seems to be a very dysfunctional diocese with its clergy being made up of gay cliques, ex Anglican, gay and married, members of the Ordineriate, a few ssurviving Paddys and a splattering of other strange types.

In Archbishops House you have Elsie as the man of the house Sister Wragg, her blood / religious sister, Margaret, former Benedictine abbot and Bishop of Menevia Mark Jabale and the cardinal’s secretary.

The Westmminster priests never like their archbishops and knife away at them behind their backs.

Who ever gets the job is in for a miserable time.