Anglo Irish Rome writes……
If the mood is grim at Westminster Cathedral Clergy House (which it is) don’t start me on Archbishop’s House next door.
A recent visitor told me that it had “all the charm of Hitler’s Bunker in April 1945”! A casual visitor from Clergy House (if he could get in – the first thing Elsie did upon arrival was to change all the codes on the locks, at Mother Wragg’s insistence, mind you) would find the elderly inhabitants downcast.
Mother Carmel has not been at all well recently, even though she succeeded, after months of bickering and whining into Vinny’s ear, in having Bishop Mark Jezebel hoofed out from under her feet and dispatched back to his monastery without so much as a “goodbye”.
She grew to see him as a threat, for some reason.
The Archbishop is lachrymose! Like all the inhabitants of Ambrosian Avenue, all but one of whom have been carried out the door feet first in a box, perhaps he has come to see that his time is up and that soon he will be a footnote in the history books and remembered for his shambolic performance on that stand at IICSA.
He has never recovered his pep, and the man described as “Tony Blair in a cassock” has for the past two years lost his sureness of touch.
This also explains the hapless appointments that he has made and the disastrous mishandling of the bullying and intimidation suffered by the former Master of Music, Martin Baker – a talented, if someone touchy, maestro who was literally hounded from his position by the alpha male headmaster of the choir school.
Recently Vincent has been sharing how much he is looking forward to his retirement in November and how he hopes the Holy Father will let him go.
I can tell you that his priests are counting the days. There is certainly no love lost between them and the man who was supposed to be their “Father in God”.
Perhaps they knew that at the first hint of trouble they would be thrown under the bus without a hearing, something that has happened to one senior priest within the last month. Oh, shall we hear him sing again?
That brings us neatly to the name on everyone’s lips. Martha Roach!
Now what a case we have there.So convinced that he is that he will be succeeding Elsie he has already had his minions in to measure the windows for new curtains, (best Roman damask, naturally)!
His ascent to the archepiscopal throne seems assured. He is a great friend of the current Pope, and if anyone doubts his influence just look at the meteoric rise of his apprentice and fellow Leeds diocesan John Wilson, who was appointed as Archbishop of Southwark two years ago at the tender age of 50.
Elise didn’t see that “Exocet” coming, even though he sits on the Congregation for Bishops. How could he as Wilson’s name was not on any Terna and he was appointed directly by Papa Bergoglio on the recommendation of Martha, who is the pope’s point man in the never ending “war” with Divine Worship and the strange (to say the least) Cardinal Sarah, no friend of the current pontiff.
Roche, of course was manoeuvring his own man into position, in order to assure his own succession to north of the Thames.
It remains to be seen if this epitome of Roman wheeling and dealing achieves his longed-for home in Westminster.
His naked ambition has distressed many, and on the way up he has made enemies.
Perhaps with the very public beheading of Cardinal Beccui, Papa Bog-roll-io may not be eager to appoint a man who has, at least, been alleged to have bankrupted his diocese not one, but twice?
The first time (he had been bishop’s secretary then) he was packed off to Rome for “further studies”.
Then he did little studying, but plenty of smooching around anything in red or purple that could possibly notice and promote him – and it worked.
I suppose that’s the way it has always been done? Not so easy to explain though was his close friendship with a certain student who went on to be ordained for a diocese in the land of dragons, even though he was as English as Martha. That didn’t end well (for the priest, that is).
The greasy joe Italian rector of the seminary took the wrap for that fiasco, and Martha got the hat that Truffles was so sure was heading his way.
Now that’s a story that needs telling one day.
Our Anglo Irish Rome correspondent is steeped in the knowledge of Westminster matters.
Could Martha Roach (aka Cock Roach) get Westminster at the age of 70 with just 5 years to serve?
It seems to me that Westminster is imploding.
Elsie is going downhill fast and it seems Elsie’s departing gift to the clergy is to piss them off as much as possible by handing over all the crown jewels to the Ex Anglicans and the Neocats.
This is Elsie’s final two fingers to the Westminster clergy.
Mother Wragg is unwell too and seeking to dump on everybody as well.
Hence the eviction of their lodger Bishop Jabale, formerly of Menevia.
There is also the rumour that a Neocat altar and a Neocat immersion pool may appear at the cathedral?