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Thursday, August 27, 1998 Published at 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK


Diana no saint, says cardinal

Cardinal Basil Hume: "Diana flawed, but much loved"

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Basil Hume, has said the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was "by no means a saint".

But he defended her memory from recent criticism by other churchmen.

His comments followed remarks by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan, who described the princess as "a false goddess of loose morals".

Two evangelical Sunday school teachers also stoked up the controversy last week when they told youngsters that Princess Diana had gone to hell.

[ image: Diana:
Diana: "Did a great deal of good"
But speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Cardinal Hume suggested Diana's life was no worse than most people's.

"Nobody can judge another person except God," said the cardinal.

"He knows the circumstances, He knows the difficulties."

The cardinal said Diana was not a saint, but "she was somebody whom we all admired".

Cardinal Hume says Princess Diana was flawed, but did much good
"I think that Princess Diana was clearly a flawed person. But she did a great deal of good and she was much loved by the nation."

Cardinal Hume refused to be drawn on the views of the former Church of England leader, Lord Coggan. He called him "very wise and very experienced".

But he criticised the two Sunday school teachers in Walsall, West Midlands, saying their words were "upsetting to us all".

He doubted that, one year on from the princess's death, on 31 August, the country had been changed by it.

But he would be praying for Diana's soul. And he hoped the public would now put what he called the "hype" surrounding her death behind it.

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