I do not think Cardinal Nichols is or was a bad man or a bad pastor. I strongly incline to the opposite judgement. And I felt that he was not given a fair hearing at the Paedophile Enquiry. So, rather than attacking or mocking him, I would rather approach the broader question of how such a man could behave in the way he did in Neasden.
Archbishop Vincent was admitted to Major Orders when the Roman Breviary was just about to be replaced by the Liturgy of the Hours. This means that, for more than three decades, his priestly and Christian identity had not been fed and sustained by the old Breviary readings.
The 'unreformed' Breviary had a calendar characterised by Martyrdom. Its earlier strata, stretching back to the Ages of Persecution, had not been completely obscured by the emphasis, in the Counter-Reformation centuries, on those 'Confessor Bishops' who were Founders of orders and whose well-resourced Congregations could secure canonisations. In this regard, the earlier Latin West was still in step with the Byzantine Calendar, where the profusion of Martyrs of the early centuries had been joined by the New Martyrs of the Ottoman oppression (S Chrysostom of Smyrna, pray for us).
I have just opened my Pars Autumnalis at random ...
... inanibus diis sacrificare jussus, constantissime renuit. Cumque variis artibus ad Christi fidem ejurandam fustra tentaretur, una cum uxore et liberis leonibus objicitur. Horum mansuetudine concitatus imperator, aeneum in taurum subjectis flammis candentem eos immitti jubet, ubi divinis in laudibus consummato martyrio ...
So, in the preconciliar Roman Office, day after day, there were gruesome accounts of the physical sufferings of our Christian martyrs. Sometimes the accounts are so similar that one suspects contamination. Sometimes there are serious grounds for suspecting the historicity of some details ... or even, of more than just details. Since the Enlightenment, the erudite had been calling for revisions of the Lections in the Sanctorale. Read all abaht it in Batiffol. But extensive revision seemed to elude savants and pontiffs alike ... even the august and erudite figure of Benedict XIV. Tradition assisted inertia.
And in England, the old Roman Calendar was augmented by the accounts of 'the English Martyrs'. English Catholic Clergy were given an extensive education, as they opened their Breviaries daily before God, of the consequences which can follow a refusal to commit idolatry.
After the Breviary was replaced by the Liturgy of the Hours, the 'viral load' of gruesome martyrological narratives was lightened; and the unwillingness of those who edited the new texts to lay emphasis on details of physical tortures introduced a significant cultural shift.
Dom Anselmo Lentini, revising the old hymns after the Council, felt that the words of S Ambrose Nudata pendent viscera/ sanguis sacratus funditur ... would be too strong for a generation which had witnessed the Second World War.
Those nurtured by the post-conciliar texts are not likely to be anything like as instinctively horrified at the very thought of idolatry as their unenlightened predecessors were. Visceral revulsion at the apostasy of laying offerings (even just flowers!) upon or before the altars of pagan deities has, I suspect, become attenuated.
Hence, the gentle and kindly and dangerous elegance of the Age of Nichols.
Whatever might be said about the details or even the spirit of the old Breviary, its overwhelming, cumulative effect must have been powerful to fortify the clergy against the enticements and the cultural attractions of new and newly fashionable syncretisms.
There may be more subtle methods of securing a tradition than by painstaking historical accuracy. Providence may know of more than one way of killing a cat.
Like Benedict XIV, I see no alternative to sticking with what we had in place before the "reform". That older culture may now seem flawed to some parts of our minds ... to those parts upon which 'Enlightenment' assumptions have most strongly encroached.