Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, has died at the age of 85.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has confirmed the news in a statement.
‘I am writing to let you know the sad news that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor died peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by his family and friends,’ he wrote.
‘Please pray for the repose of his soul. Pray, too, for his family, and those many friends and colleagues from the Diocese and far beyond who mourn his loss.’
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor had been seriously ill in hospital since his health took a ‘defining turn’ in August.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who was born in Reading in August 1932, became leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales in March 2000, before retiring from his role in 2009.
He is the only Archbishop of Westminster to have ever stood down from the post.
Picture: File photo dated 26/02/13 of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. (Anthony Devlin/PA).