Cardinal Nichols offered prayers for his predecessor, who remains seriously ill in hospital

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has offered his prayers and good wishes to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor as he turns 85.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who served as Archbishop of Westminster from 2000 to 2009, has been seriously ill in hospital since last week. This Thursday is his 85th birthday.

Cardinal Nichols wished his predecessor a “most peaceful and happy birthday, one full of thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings”.

“We assure you of our prayers and love at this time,” the cardinal added. “May God fill you with the joy of knowing that you are held in his loving care, even as you were at the moment of your birth those 85 years ago!”

In a letter to priests in the Diocese of Westminster noting Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s birthday, Cardinal Nichols wrote:

“Although his own celebrations will necessarily be muted, I am sure that we will all have him at the forefront of our prayers on such an important day. We not only give thanks for his long and fruitful life and ministry, but we also wish him well for all the time still to come.”