In the English Catholic church, cardinal archbishops of Westminster tend to punch above their weight. One of those who punched hardest was Basil Hume. It was to this Benedictine monk that the nation came to look for spiritual leadership, and that same quality was recognized internationally -- including by the American and European bishops.
Hume received a number of invitations from the United States. The last one asked him to address a meeting of the bishops’ conference in Tucson, Ariz., in June 1999. Shortly before, in April, he learned that he had advanced cancer, so would not be able to go. Instead he videotaped what he wanted to say, and it was played to the bishops’ assembly on June 18, the day after his death. This last testament from beyond the grave is as pertinent now as it was then.