Spectator speculation on Westminster

Fr Ray Blake (The Westminster Succession) reports on an article by Fraser Nelson in the Spectator: Will Blair become a true Catholic? The article is a very good summary of the concerns that many Catholics have raised.

Towards the end, there is an interesting section concerning the appointment of the next Archbishop of Westminster. Nelson says:
I am told the Pope is sceptical about choosing anyone from England’s ‘magic circle’ of metropolitan bishops and is actively considering monastic candidates to succeed Cardinal Murphy- O’Connor — just as Basil Hume was plucked from the monastic seclusion of Ampleforth Abbey in 1976.
This rather rang a bell because when I was talking recently to some priests who had been out on a visit to Rome, they also said that the Urbs is buzzing with rumours about Dom Hugh Gilbert, the Abbot of Pluscarden.

Dom Hugh could not really be labelled as a "traditionalist": Pluscarden has resolutely retained the Novus Ordo for Mass and has adhered straightforwardly to the minor reforms of the office made by Solesmes. Not long ago, Dom Hugh wrote in the journal of Pluscarden Abbey explaining why the community would not be changing over to the traditional Roman rite. At the same time, under his kindly and sensible leadership, the flourishing community of the Abbey is faithful to the monastic tradition, using Latin and Gregorian Chant for Mass and the Office, and living the rule of St Benedict with simplicity. Dom Hugh could well fit the bill as a candidate acceptable to a wide range of ecclesiastical opinion. I am sure that the community would be very sorry if they had to lose him.

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