RUMOURS of Cardinal Hume's impending retirement next year to the calm of the Benedictine monastery whence he came were this week scotched by Mgr Ralph Brown, Vicar General of Westminster diocese.
A report in a regional paper — the north-west's Daily Post this week spoke of the cardinal's wish to retire next year and return to Ampleforth Abbey where he was Abbot before his elevation to the Cardinalate.
"Once you become a cardinal retirement brings one future prospect; a move to Rome. If the cardinal was to retire before the set retirement age of 75, he would be sent to Rome and given a job there," said Mgr Brown.
The Daily Post suggested that far from retiring, the cardinal could find himself moving higher perhaps even to the See of St Peter should it become vacant in the next ten years.
His stint as President of the European Bishops' Conferences and his proven record in making Catholicism a force to be reckoned with in a Protestant country render him a hot prospect for the job, the paper speculated.