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Papal opportunism in Wales

19 February 2016

February 18th, 1916.

It has probably struck many people that there is a peculiar significance in the Pope’s determination to create an archbishopric for Wales with its seat at Cardiff. This is the largest and most important city in the Principality, and Lord Bute’s influence there is considerable. Further, the ancient Church of the land is in course of being disestablished, so that the moment for placing in Cardiff a Roman prelate, for whom a titular precedence at least over the Welsh Bishops might be advanced, would seem to be singularly opportune. It is, in fact, a very astute move. We shall not be surprised if it is viewed with sympathy and congratulation by the Protestant Dissenters, to whom anything prejudicial to the interests of the Church appears to be welcome, even though it is to the advantage of Rome. We advert to this matter with much reluctance, feeling as we do that controversy, always unpleasant, should now more than ever be avoided. But it cannot escape notice that the moment when the Church of Wales is seriously weakened by its struggle against overwhelming odds has been chosen by the Roman authorities to make a move which has a deeper meaning than may appear on the surface.


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