Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, is to be created a cardinal on 22 February by Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Media Office announced last night (Sunday). Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor is among a number of new cardinals being created by the Pope at a special ceremony, or consistory, in Rome on 21 February, the eve of the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. The last consistory took place in 1998. Cardinals are normally only created on such occasions. On hearing the news the Archbishop said: "I see this as a great honour for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and as a sign of the warmth that exists in the relationship between the Holy See and the Catholic community in these countries." Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor was installed as tenth Archbishop of Westminster on 22 March 2000. He succeeded Cardinal Basil Hume who died in June 1999. All previous Archbishops of Westminster have been created cardinals. In November 2000, Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor was elected President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. This new role means that Archbishop Murphy O'Connor will be able to vote in the election of the next pope. The Feast of the Chair of St Peter originated in the 4th century and celebrates the unity of the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the Apostle St Peter, the first pope.
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