Thursday, June 17, 1999 Published at 21:11 GMT 22:11 UK
Roman Catholic leader Hume dies
Cardinal Hume celebrates mass
Cardinal Basil Hume, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, has lost his fight against cancer.
He disclosed in April that he had abdominal cancer, and that it was "not in the early stages".
But in letters to his fellow bishops and to the clergy of the diocese, he said he was determined to see in the millennium.
A statement from Archbishop's House, Westminster, said: "The cardinal had just been anointed and they were praying with him when he died peacefully and without pain. In his last days, the cardinal had weakened considerably but he remained calm and at peace throughout.
"The Mass at 5.30pm tomorrow evening [18 June] in Westminster Cathedral will be offered for the repose of the cardinal's soul."
His private secretary, Father James Curry, was with him when he died.
"All of us who work as members of his staff at Archbishops House feel an intense loss," he said.
He paid tribute to the "happy working environment" created by the cardinal.
A palace spokesman said: "The Queen is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Hume, whom she will remember for his outstanding contribution to the Christian life of this country."
Prime Minister Tony Blair paid tribute to a man he called "goodness personified".
"He did much to inspire people of all faiths, and none.
"He made an incalculable contribution to the Catholic Church. Around the world there are people who will miss him deeply and remember him for the extraordinary good that he did."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, said: "We worked together closely and productively for many years and throughout that time my respect, admiration and affection for him have grown."
Two months later he was made a cardinal by the Pope.
He was widely regarded by Catholics, by Christians of other denominations, and by people with no religious faith, as a man of simplicity and holiness.
Last year the Pope rejected his offer to resign when he reached 75.
His time at Westminster has seen Catholicism strengthening its links with other churches and faiths, and playing a greater part in national life.
The funeral Mass and burial of Cardinal Hume will take place on 25 June at Westminster Cathedral.
The body will be brought into the cathedral hall on Monday, where it will lie in state from 9am to 7.30pm for three days.
On Thursday afternoon, the body will be taken up Ambrosden Avenue to the cathedral, where the reception and evening prayer for the dead will take place at 5pm.
There will be a series of vigils of prayer thoroughout the evening until around 8.30pm, for people to pay their respects to the Cardinal.
The funeral Mass and burial will take place on Friday at 11am in the cathedral.
There will also be a memorial mass for the Cardinal at a time yet to be decided.
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