Continued from p1 Rome. Bishop Nichols, 53, is auxiliary Bishop in North London.
Cardinal Hume was appointed Archbishop of Westminster at the age of 53.
The Nuncio is expected to submit his terna to the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, by November. Cardinal Bernardin Gantin will scrutinise the list before submitting his own recommendations, not necessarily based on the Nuncio's, to the Pope, who can also reject or add his own favoured candidates before approving the appointment.
While it was thought that the appointment would be made before Christmas Eve and the start of the Jubilee Holy Year, it is now thought that it will come in January, with a consecration in February.
"There is no reason to assume it will be rushed," a senior Church source said.
The appointment of the new Archbishop of Birmingham following the retirement of Archbishop Couve de Murville is likely to follow soon after.
Editorial Comment — p7