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Griffin, Bernard William


Cardinal, archbishop of Westminster, England; b. Birmingham, Feb. 21, 1899; d. New Polzeath, Cornwall, Aug. 20, 1956. Griffin was educated at Cotton College, Oscott, England, and at the English College and the Beda College in Rome. Ordained in 1924, he was secretary to the archbishops of Birmingham from 1927 to 1937. Griffin was chancelor of the archdiocese from 1929 to 1938 and was a notable administrator of archdiocesan charitable homes from 1937 to 1943. He became an auxiliary bishop of Birmingham in 1938, and in 1943 he succeeded Cardinal Arthur hinsley as archbishop of Westminster. Griffin was made a cardinal in 1946. His previous association with social welfare helped him to assess and encourage the work of the Labour government whose effect was to change English social life profoundly after World War II. As the leading English Catholic prelate, he often journeyed abroad until the last years of his life, when he suffered from illnesses that severely restricted his activities. Seek Ye First, a collection of his sermons and other addresses, was published in 1949.

Bibliography: m. de la bedoyÈre, Cardinal Bernard Griffin (London 1955).

[e. mcdermott]

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