MGR RALPH BROWN has been appointed to the newly-created post of personal Vicar-General to Cardinal Hume. The appointment is one of several announced this week by the Cardinal as part of the reorganisation of the Westminster diocese.
As Vicar-General, Mgr Brown will have pastoral responsibility for all those who come under the Cardinal's particular care. These include immigrants, the handicapped and the social services.
He will also be involved in matters of central administration such as finance and education and will represent the Cardinal at meetings.
Mgr Brown, who was ordained in Westminster Cathedral in 1959, has been working in the Diocesan Chancery Office for the past 12 years.
Since 1970 he has been in charge of the Westminster Marriage Tribunal, for which he will retain overall responsibility in his new post. His appointment will take effect from November I.
Another newly-created post, that of diocesan secretary, is to be filled from November I by Fr Timothy Frith, a lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Westminster Diocesan Seminary, Allen Hall, St Edmund's, Ware.
Fr Frith's main role will be to service Westminster's Episcopal Team Ministry, now to be called the Council of Diocesan Affairs. He will also assist the advisory council which is shortly to he established to do all the preliminary work for the Council of Diocesan Affairs.
As secretary to the advisory council, Fr Frith will process the material presented to it, secure the necessary specialist services and carry out whatever further work is required on projects that require more study before being presented to the Council of Diocesan Affairs.
In his role as secretary to the Council of Diocesan Affairs he will notify those concerned about the council's decisions and, where necessary, execute the decisions himself.
Fr John Crowley, assistant priest at Muswell Hill, has been appointed secretary at Archbishop's House, Westminster, from October 25. Mgr Frederick Miles will continue as first secretary for the time being.