Monday, 3 March 2014



Cardinal Nichols appeared last Friday in London dressed like a medieval Prince of the Church - replete with a crimson cardinal's robe that had been abolished by Pope Paul VI who died in the late 1970's.

Before he went to Rome he had been lecturing the British Government about poverty and the poor.

But now he arrives back in London dressed more gaudily than the Queen of England.

Is that not a contradiction?

The man who made him a cardinal - Pope Francis - wears a humble steel/silver pectoral cross only worth a few euros and a silver ring.

But on Friday Cardinal Nichols paraded through the streets of London and into Westminster Cathedral in bright red robes with a gold ring and a bejewelled gold pectoral cross.

Not even his predecessor Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor - who is famous for his big house and his fine wines - showed such insensitivity in public. 

Nichols seems to be showing the same crazy dress sense as his fellow cardinal - Raymond Burke

 Do Nichols and Burke not realise that the Catholic Church has managed to get itself an international bad reputation - not only for sexual abuse, corruption and financial scandals - but for being completely out of touch with the 21st century.

How do they hope to re-establish any credibility by going around dressed like the Borgia popes? How do they expect to be taken seriously about matters like poverty if they are wearing red silk and gold jewellery? Apparently Cardinal Burke's red fashion items cost him something like $38,000. That would keep a poor family in the UK or the US for a whole year.

I had expected Pope Francis to present the new cardinals with reasonably inexpensive rings. But I suppose that even if he did there is no guarantee that they would wear them.

It is bad enough that we have secular "royalty" living off ordinary people. But it is a grave scandal that churchmen are wearing silk, gold and jewels when half the world is dying of hunger. The next time Cardinal Nichols lectures David Cameron and the British Government about poverty Cameron should tell Cardinal Nichols to sell his gold and give the money to the poor.

Bishop Pat Buckley




  1. Dear Bishop Buckley thank you for drawing attention to this absurd photograph which would be comical (Dorothy and her red shoes from The Wizard of Oz springs to mind) if it weren't so tragic. What in God's name has this pantomime appearance got to do with Jesus of Nazareth and the Kingdom of God that He came to inaugurate? Cardinal Nichols's new found penchant for the robes of office have been noted by many priests in Westminster and beyond, and there are many who are scandalised by the expense and the opulence of the new cardinal, and all of this against the backdrop of a pope who claims that he wants a "poor Church for the poor". Cardinal Nichols has pleaded with wealthy Catholics to contribute to a special fund to refurbish his ghastly residence in central London, perhaps some idiot benefactor has paid for the clobber? Whatever the explanation it shows that Vincent is perhaps losing touch in that a/ he allowed the photo to be taken (if your going parade around dressed like the Infant of Prague then best do it in the privacy of your own rooms), and b/ that he allowed it to be published. Vincent has spent decades controlling his image, a fact reflected in his fury, and subsequent witch-hunt, when allegations where made (unfounded in fact) of an inappropriate relationship with a nun, and the publication of this photo perhaps shows that he is losing his iron grip now that he has reached the heights that he has always believed he deserved. God help the flock entrusted to his care that have been given a shepherd such as this.

  2. Bishop! I think you may be losing your touch: you have posted that picture of His Eminence before, in your previous post about him on 22nd February! As one who was unimpressed by His Eminence when he was ++Birmingham, I would like to thank you again for drawing attention to this ridiculousness. What is abundantly clear is that this is all about Vincent. I would question, though, that he has reached the dizzy heights he aspires to...

  3. For heaven's sake. He's wearing some old tat from the cupboard, as did Benedict. It's humble Pope Francis who is commissioning new, very ugly, robes at the expense of everyone else.

  4. Post Vatican 2, leading souls to hell since 1970. Being a priest many years now, I can see now what you are doing by helping destroy the church farther. You fools, look beyond your dam eyes and look into your heart, how dare you Judge, when God himself will judge you.