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FEBRUARY 3 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
FFolllooww Thhee CCatholicc Heerald oonn Twwitttteer At Twitter.com/catholicherald
Charismatic editor who steered The Catholic Herald through one of the liveliest periods of its history
HARRY COEN, one of the most charismatic figures in the history of The Catholic Herald, died last week, aged 67.
He served as acting editor of the paper for an eventful four months in 1996. The Fleet Street veteran, who had worked as night editor of the Sunday Telegraph and as news editor of a gay newspaper, was appointed after editor Cristina Odone left the paper in the spring of 1996. He stepped down in August of that year when Deborah Jones was appointed editor.
Harry was born on January 23 1945 in the Republic of Ireland and died on his 67th birthday, January 13 2012. He is survived by his brother Tom, sister Anne and David, his partner for 42 years.
Not long after he was appointed acting editor Harry passed a hard-hitting article by Alice Thomas Ellis for publication. The article, headlined “My war against Worlock”, sharply criticised Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool, who had died on February 6 1996. The article was picked up by the national press, provoking fierce controversy and prompting Alice Thomas Ellis’s dismissal as a Catholic Herald columnist. Harry insisted that he alone was responsible for the decision and denied suggestions that he was responding to orders from the English Hierarchy. When Harry stood aside for Deborah Jones, Otto Herschan, managing director, said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to Harry Coen for his flair and professionalism in bridging the gap between the end of
Harry Coen at the editor’s desk in Herald House one brilliant editorship – that of Cristina Odone – and the beginning of another – that of Deborah Jones.”
In a column for the paper Harry described his “unexpected and unlooked-for editorship” as turbulent but ultimately rewarding.
He wrote: “There was the pain of the Archbishop Worlock controversy – against the odds (and the wishes of those who would like to see us come to grief) positive energies were unleashed to bring the Church as a whole closer to a proper and constructive resolution of the issues raised.”
He recalled the other major stories of his brief tenure: the resignation of Bishop Roderick Wright and the grisly disclosure that doctors had performed Britain’s first “selective abortion”. He also noted the frenzy in the secular press when the paper ran an article questioning the Queen’s role as supreme governor of the Church of England.
He concluded: “Even in the throes of disagreement – maybe even particularly so – I have been made proud to belong once again to such a community.”
Harry remained at the paper as an editorial consultant after the appointment of Deborah Jones as editor.
He would arrive at Herald House on press days armed with two packs of Dunhill International, which he would stack near to hand, a bottle of wine and a couple of Ginsters savoury pastry slices. He would then put the paper together cheerfully, skilfully and at breakneck speed. Deborah Jones, editor of The Catholic Herald from 1996 to 1998, writes: Harry Coen was the Fleet Street insider captured by the Herald to fill the gap between editors and then to help ease me into the unfamiliar world of journalism. His ready humour accompanied a deeply professional expertise, enabling us to navigate our way through the new technology of computer-generated pagesetting on mismatched computers and without full use of email and internet assistance. I can see him in the Victorian school room that still serves as the Herald workplace, with sleeves rolled up, wearing braces, with a stubbly beard, an air of dishevelment, and a cigarette in hand or dangling from lips. He would be advising a young journalist on the best angle for a story,
or where to find an expert to interview, or making contact with one of his wide network of columnists from the Telegraph or Express, or any other of the many papers he had worked on.
He was unfailingly helpful to me and also to those just setting out on their careers in newspapers. We crossed swords over that, as he was generous in finding small freelance jobs for them to do whereas I wanted their exclusive attention on the Herald. But I knew, and respected, a master of his craft, and a good man. Joe Jenkins, former deputy editor of The Catholic Herald, writes: While he was a quick-witted journalist, fine writer and a sage of newspaper production, Harry was above all else great fun. His arrival at the Herald injected a new energy into its news-gathering operation. The modest size of the staff meant that the paper’s reporters had seldom ventured out of London to chase a story. Now I was being despatched around the country to write longer articles about news events whose impact on Catholic communities and individuals merited greater investigation. But Harry’s legacy at the Herald is the pride taken in the appearance of the paper. It was no coincidence that while he was acting editor it took on some of the design values of the Sunday Telegraph, where Harry had been Dominic Lawson’s night editor. Harry would have been delighted that the pages of the Herald are now more elegant than ever. He was a loyal and generous colleague whose sharpwitted presence in the newsroom ensured you would never have a dull day (especially if he came armed with a bottle or two of Cremant de Bourgogne, produced by friends in his adoptive village in France). As Harry would have said: “God bless.” Christina White, former features editor of The Catholic Herald, writes: In a different life he would have been a sea captain, roaming the oceans of the world in search of prizes. Harry Coen’s literary hero was Jack Aubrey, master and commander of the Patrick O’Brian novels, and in tribute he always wore his hair in an Aubrey-esque pigtail – tying his locks back when he had a particularly irksome bit of editing to do. Harry came to the Herald in 1996 as acting editor in the interregnum following the departure of Cristina Odone and he stayed on when Deborah Jones was appointed editor to sub the paper and generally bring the callow editorial office into line. We loved him. He brought a proper whiff of real journalism to the Herald and he was a magician with a newspaper page, conjuring headlines and fashioning copy. His was a world of Fleet Street, of infamous columnists, of long, boozy lunches. He adored a scoop. A determined smoker, he was at his happiest, Dunhill International cigarette in hand, bashing away at the keyboard – the captain at the helm as the office ebbed and flowed around him. Huzzah, Harry! Editorial comment: Page 13
CARITAS Social Action Network (CSAN) has welcomed the House of Lords amendment excluding child benefit from the proposed household benefit cap of £26,000.
The bishops’ conference agency said that the successful amendment, introduced by the Rt Rev John Packer, Anglican Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, was “vital to protect children facing poverty”. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith wants out-ofwork payments limited to £26,000
Bishops’ agency backs Lords over welfare reform BY ED WEST
a year per household, which he claims will save “something in the order” of £600 million towards deficit reduction.
But the amendment to the welfare reform Bill was carried by 252 votes to 237 after numerous faith groups and charities expressed concern over the impact that the cap would have on children.
Responding to the vote CSAN, an umbrella group for Catholic charities, said: “We are pleased that the House of Lords has voted in favour of this very sensible amendment. Excluding child benefit from the cap will allow a degree of flexibility in recognition of children’s basic needs, and will mitigate the impact on some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in our society.
“We hope that the Government will take account of the concerns expressed by those working to support these families and will review this area before the welfare reform Bill returns to the House of Commons.”
Last week Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark said that a cut in child benefit “could seriously disadvantage larger families and push more children into poverty”.
He said: “The welfare Bill is an incredibly complex legislation and I do not envy anyone who wishes to sort it out. What’s happening is that the poorest and most vulnerable get the worst result.”
But the archbishop said that Government overspending in recent years meant there had to be cuts and that it would be “simplistic” to be entirely opposed to a benefits cap.
“I’m not saying there’s an easy panacea. With means testing you can end up spending billions on administration. But I’m getting alarm signals from people working out in the field,” the archbishop said.
On Tuesday the Lords made seven more amendments to the Government’s Bill, including an amendment by independent crossbench peer Baroness Meacher to limit cuts to top-up payments made to the parents of disabled children.
The Government, however, has vowed to overturn all the amendments made in the House of Lords.
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Bishop: all Anglicans can join ordinariate Teammate says he was shocked at life change
BY ED WEST
Continued from Page 1: During his time as a footballer Mr Mulryne dated a model, Nicola Chapman, and was once sent home from the Northern Ireland squad in 2005 after breaking a curfew to go drinking. His career was cut short in 2008 by injury, and he decided to return to Ireland.
After returning home and becoming involved in charity work he turned his life around, according to former Norwich teammate Paul McVeigh, who said he had visited his friend in Rome and was surprised by the change.
Mr McVeigh said: “To my amazement, and most likely to the rest of the footballing fraternity’s, Phil decided to train to become a Catholic priest.
“I was still in contact with him and knew that he had turned his life around and was doing a lot of charitable work and helping the homeless on a weekly basis. Still, it was a complete shock that he felt this was his calling.
“I know for a fact that this is not something he took lightly... When I arrived in Rome, I was met by a very contented-looking Phil, who took me back to the Irish College.”
Mr Mulryne’s mother said the decision to follow his vocation was a “big decision”.
BY STAFF REPORTER
A BISHOP has confirmed that former Anglicans who were received into the Catholic Church years ago can join the personal ordinariate created by Benedict XVI last year.
The Pope established the world’s first personal ordinariate for groups of former Anglicans that wished to enter into full communion with Rome in January 2011. There was discussion at the time about whether ex-Anglicans received before 2011 could also join the structure under the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus, the apostolic constitution describing the nature of personal ordinariates. Writing in the January 2012 issue of The Newman, the journal of the Newman Association, Bishop Alan Hopes clarified that the ordinariate was open to all former Anglicans.
The bishop, who serves as an auxiliary in Westminster diocese and as episcopal delegate to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, wrote: “The personal ordinariate is for former Anglicans – but Anglicans who converted some years ago can, if they so wish, say that they would like to become members of the ordinariate. There is that dual possibility.
“The decision-making body is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”
Irish abuse victim to address world’s bishops in Rome
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
AN IRISHWOMAN who was abused by a hospital chaplain in the 1960s will tell bishops meeting in Rome next week that the Church’s mishandling of the abuse crisis risks alienating abuse survivors from their faith.
In an interview with The Catholic Herald Marie Collins said: “Being treated in the way that I was by the Church can destroy your Catholic faith and actually exacerbate all your problems. I was a practising Catholic up to the time that I reported [the abuse] to the diocese in 19951996. I now find it very, very difficult to practise my religion.
She added: “I’d like to see the Church going back to the basics of what Christ said. He did not teach that institutions are more important than little children.”
Representatives of most of the world’s bishops’ conferences and 30 religious orders will attempt the summit to launch a global initiative aimed at improving efforts to stop clerical sexual abuse and better protect children and vulnerable adults.
The conference, “Toward Healing and Renewal,” will be held on February 6-9 at the Pontifical Gregorian University and is being supported by the Vatican Secretariat of State and several other Vatican offices.
Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with priests accused of abuse, will give the opening address. Other speakers include mental health professionals and bishops from different parts of the world who will talk about responses to the abuse crisis in their countries.
The conference is designed in part to help bishops’ conferences and superiors of religious orders to respond to a 2011 circular letter from the doctrinal congregation requiring every diocese in the world to develop guidelines on handling allegations of abuse.
After the conference, the Gregorian University and other institutions will launch an “e-learning centre” which will offer online resources in five languages. The centre, based in Munich, Germany, is designed to help Church leaders to respond pastorally to the issue of sexual abuse in the Church and society as a whole. The centre has been funded for an initial three years.
According to the programme, participants can attend workshops in their own languages, including one designed for those who are not bishops or priests, “to bring forward perspectives that can often be missed by ordained leaders”.
Interview: Page 7
NEWSBULLETIN Benedictines to auction off £100,000 worth of treasures ABOUT £100,000 worth of treasures from St Augustine’s Abbey in Kent are to be sold at auction next week.
The objects being put up for sale include church plate, chalices – including a Charles I chalice made in 1633 and an Arts and Crafts chalice worth £13,000 to £15,000 – as well as a 19th-century monstrance.
The treasures are being sold by Dominic Winter auctioneers after the remaining Benedictine monks at the abbey decided to move to the smaller Chilworth friary near Farnham in Surrey.
The monastery, designed by A W Pugin, was the first to be built in England since the Reformation. It was founded in 1856.
Pro-lifers reject counselling move PRO-LIFE group SPUC has expressed concern about fresh restrictions being placed on pro-life counsellors under new Department of Health guidelines.
Last month it was announced that the department was considering changes to pregnancy counselling rules that would break the monopoly of abortion providers and replace it with “a system of ‘voluntary registration’ ”.
But SPUC director John Smeaton said that changes threatened pro-life counsellors and that the department was “either considering or had already decided in favour of legal or quasi-legal restrictions on pro-life counsellors”.
Currently a cross-party group of 10 MPs which met in secret to discuss the proposals is divided over whether counsellors would have to declare any ethical stance, such as pro-life beliefs. Tory MP Nadine Dorries told the BBC’s Newsnight that counsellors should have no agenda whatsoever, “be it religious or financial”.
Priest joins Occupy protest A PRIEST of the Diocese of Westminster addressed Occupy protesters outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday.
Fr Joe Ryan, chairman of the diocesan justice and peace committee, said he was an “ardent supporter” of the movement and congratulated campers for tackling injustice. He also criticised “obscene” bonuses, saying the word “bonus” should be taken out of the dictionary.
Benedictines to leave parish THE OLIVETAN Benedictines are planning to leave the Cockfosters parish of Christ the King, north London, it was announced on Sunday.
Auxiliary Bishop John Arnold of Westminster visited the parish to break the news. He said the order were unable to send any more monks to assist and form a viable community in the parish. The two resident monks, therefore, are to withdraw, he said.
Archbishop to speak in Cambridge ARCHBISHOP Vincent Nichols of Westminster will talk about Jewish-Christian relations in a lecture at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge, on Wednesday, February 8.
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