Dear Frank,

Now I’ve gone and done it – done a Francis, I mean.

I was being entrapped – I mean interviewed – by journalists who asked what I would do if I found out that one of my children was gay and wanted to marry a same sex partner.

Well, what could I say? No one wants to sound harsh and uncaring, least of all about their own children. I panicked. I forgot all my HTB training, and instead of asking myself ‘What would Sandy say?’ I spoke from the heart. Just like you in fact. My Francis moment!

In an instant, of course, I realised what the consequences would be. The fundamentalists would be baying for my blood, and the newspapers would be full of photographs of me and my children – speculating about which of them is gay.

Never before have I come so close to understanding why you people insist on clerical celibacy!

I think that we are both going to find this Year of Mercy a real trial – endless opportunities for endless gaffs – with the paparazzi hounding us at every touch and turn. Still that’s what we have to expect when we have reached the top of our profession.

Take care,

Your chastened friend,

PS  The photograph is our Christmas card for 2015. No robins and mistletoe for us, we prefer something religious!

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