CARDINAL Hume made history when he became Archbishop of Westminster and seems to have been making history ever since. His indefinable quiet but devastating charisma has made him a favourite international figure
Recently he took part in an unprecedentedly important event in American Catholic life. For the first time ever, almost all the United States bishops gathered together in one place, namely St John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. The time was the end of June.
The hierarchy numbering altogether more than 400 had not come together for a conference. They had decided to set aside a period of ten days for prayer, reflection and pastoral/spiritual discussion.
To set a theme for each day's reflection the Cardinal gave a short talk. His talks were apparently an immense success as was the whole occasion.
It was a serious but not ponderous event. At its conclusion a presentation was made to the Cardinal. No, it was not one of those rather forbidding awards carrying a solemnly worded testimonial. For the day in question happened to be that on which the baby Prince William was born to the Princess of Wales. The Cardinal was given a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "It's a Boy."