Premier | Tributes paid to Cardinal Cormac

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the current Archbishop of Westminster, remarked on the “infectious laughter and his sense of fun” of his predecessor.

Cardinal Cormac, who served as leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales from 2000 until 2009, had been diagnosed with cancer.

In a statement, Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP, the Archbishop of Liverpool, said: “He was always approachable, willing to give his time to listen to anyone and to offer any help he could.

“We will miss him greatly here in Liverpool as he was a frequent visitor to our archdiocese sharing in many of our celebrations.”

Admitted into hospital last month, Cardinal Cormac issued a message shortly before his death, saying: “I am at peace and have no fear of what is to come.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said: “At this sad time, I also want to remember his sterling commitment to Christian unity and his work for the relationship between all who follow Christ.”

Leaders from the Church of England and other Christian denominations have also released messages paying tribute the Cardinal Cormac.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby said: “His humility, sense and holiness made him a church leader of immense impact.”

Born in 1932 to parents from County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, Cardinal Cormac attended Presentation College in Reading before beginning training for the priesthood in 1950 in Rome. He became bishop of Arundel and Brighton in 1977.

Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “We mark his passing with respect, and join with others in confidence in say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.'”

In 2015, Cardinal Cormac admitted feeling ashamed of his response to sex abuse allegations levelled against a priest Michael Hill in the 1980s. He allowed Hill to become an airport chaplain, despite Hill confessing to him he had abuse young boys.

Bishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK wrote on Twitter: “Farewell to a friend and brother, and a fellow traveller along our shared ecumenical journey in Britain.”

Read more at Tributes paid to Cardinal Cormac.