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Friday, June 18, 1999 Published at 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK


Requiem mass for Cardinal Hume

Prayers are said for the cardinal's soul

A requiem mass has taken place at Westminster Cathedral in London in honour of Cardinal Basil Hume, who died on Thursday of cancer.

Emily Buchanan reports: "Many said how deeply moved they were by the service"
Cardinal Hume's funeral will take place in a week's time.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, joined the congregation in prayers for the cardinal's soul.

[ image: The Archbishop of Canterbury:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: "Affection and respect"
Earlier, Pope John Paul II paid tribute to the cardinal, who was head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The Pope said he had learned "with great sadness" of the death of the cardinal, who was also Archbishop of the Westminster diocese.

"I thank the Lord for having given the church a shepherd of great spiritual and moral character," the Pope wrote in a telegram to the archdiocese.

He praised Cardinal Hume's "sensitive and unflinching ecumenical commitment and firm leadership".

The Pope said he was confident the cardinal's devoted service "will inspire all who knew him," and said he offered "prayerful condolences" for those who mourn.

Abdominal cancer

The 76-year-old cardinal died peacefully on Thursday with two priests at his bedside, two months after disclosing he had abdominal cancer.

Father James Curry: "We have lost a good and eminently lovable man"
Last month he entered hospital for a spell of "palliative care".

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."

His private secretary, Father James Curry, was with him when he died.

Queen 'saddened'

One of Cardinal Hume's last appearances in public was on 2 June, when he went to Buckingham Palace to be made a member of the Order of Merit by the Queen.

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", and said he did much to inspire people of all faiths.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: "We worked together closely and productively for many years and throughout that time my respect, admiration and affection for him have grown."

Funeral arrangements

The funeral mass and burial of Cardinal Hume will take place on 25 June at Westminster Cathedral.

BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent Alex Kirby: "Speculation about Cardinal Hume's likely successor is already building up"
The body will be brought into the cathedral hall on Monday, 21 June, where it will lie in state from 0900BST to 1930BST for three days.

On Thursday 24 June, the body will be taken to the cathedral, where the reception and evening prayer for the dead will take place at 1700BST.

There will be a series of vigils of prayer throughout the evening until around 2030BST, for people to pay their respects to the cardinal.

The funeral mass and burial will take place on Friday at 1100BST in the cathedral.

There will also be a memorial mass for the cardinal at a time yet to be decided.

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