Pope John Paul II during Mass inside Westminster Cathedral in London on Friday, 28 May 1982.
On the left standing is Basil Cardinal Hume, the then Archbishop of Westminster. Cardinal Hume was created Cardinal-Priest of San Silvestro in Capite by Paul VI in the consistory of 24 May 1976. He was one of the cardinal electors in the conclaves of August and October 1978. He was considered by many the most "Papabile" Englishman since Cardinal Pole in 1548–1550.
Hume's time in office saw Catholicism become more accepted in British society than it had been for 400 years, culminating in the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Westminster Cathedral in 1995. He had previously read the Epistle at the installation ceremony of Robert Runcie as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1980. It was also during his tenure in Westminster that Pope John Paul II made an historic visit to England in 1982 seen above.
In April 1999, Hume revealed that he had terminal cancer. On 2 June of that year, Queen Elizabeth awarded him the Order of Merit. He died just over two weeks later, June 17, in Westminster, London, at age 76. After a funeral service broadcast live on national British television, he was buried in Westminster Cathedral. John Paul II, in his message of condolence to the Church in England and Wales, praised Hume as a "shepherd of great spiritual and moral character". Hume belongs to the very short list of Benedictine cardinals in the history of the Church. Since his death no other member of the Order of Saint Benedict has been elevated to the cardinalate.
Hume was the last Archbishop of Westminster to employ a Gentiluomo. The Gentiluomo were a form of ceremonial bodyguard who accompanied the archbishops on formal occasions. As the role had become archaic, no new Gentiluomo were appointed after the death of Hume's Gentiluomo, Anthony Bartlett OBE, in 2001.