BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 06/99: Cardinal Hume funeral  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
UK Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Cardinal Hume funeral Monday, 5 July, 1999, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Cardinal Hume: A life of devotion
Cardinal Hume
Cardinal Hume: Sees himself as a "benign dictator"
Cardinal Basil Hume has spent almost his entire life in the Catholic Church, and first became a monk while he was still a teenager.

Cardinal Hume funeral
He sees himself as a "benign dictator" and regularly forces through decisions against a majority of his bishops.

A stern supporter of the Vatican's line on priestly celibacy, women priests, homosexuality, contraception and abortion, he is tough on dissenters within the English church.

The 76-year-old is also known for his distaste at society's "obsession with sex".

Diana, Princess of Wales
He said Princess Diana was "no saint"
He sparked controversy over Diana, Princess of Wales last year when he called for an end to the "hype" surrounding her. He said she had been "by no means a saint".

He speaks out publicly if the plight of others touches him, such as the Guildford Four, whose case he took up after meeting the dying father of Gerry Conlon. They were wrongly imprisoned for IRA offences in 1975 and were released in 1989.

Although firm about his beliefs, he was keen to retire in 1998.

Newcastle United football club
Newcastle United: The cardinal is an ardent fan
He expressed a desire to end his days in his old monastery, while perhaps maintaining his lifelong passion for Newcastle United football club and a spot of fishing. But the Pope ordered him to retain his position.

The toughest test of his leadership came in 1992 when the Church of England voted for the ordination of women.

Thousands of Anglo-Catholics turned to Rome, and Cardinal Hume made the controversial decision to accept Anglican clergymen who were already married.

Although he prefers to steer clear of personal revelations, he has spoken occasionally of the loneliness of celibacy. He has also touched upon the "dark nights of the soul", when he doubted his faith.

The son of a Scottish Protestant father and a French Catholic mother, his early faith was influenced by the Benedictine monastery at his English public school in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire.

The MIllennium Dome
The MIllennium Dome: Cardinal Hume threatened to boycott it
After studying at the school's sister college, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, he went to study in Switzerland.

He has recently been part of a threatened church leaders' boycott of the Millennium Dome, having stressed the importance of the coming "Holy Year".

But however he celebrates it, the Millennium is an event that Cardinal Hume says he is "determined" to attend.

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Cardinal Hume funeral stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Cardinal Hume funeral stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
UK Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes