Roman Holiday



Dear Frank,

So is that it? Is there nothing to take home from our Rome meeting but an agreement to work together to combat climate change and oppose people trafficking? Don’ get me wrong, I am not in favour of either, but as an agenda for common action it does seem strange to list two things about which neither of us can do very much. Frankly, I had hoped for something a little more positive than rhetoric.

As you said, we both have our problems. You have traditionalists thwarting your every intention (and the whiff of scandal still hanging over Vatican finances). I have dwindling authority in the Communion, and a gay agenda at home which I can neither halt nor moderate. All we can do, it seems, is to fly off and make speeches in foreign parts!

You’re quite right, of course: it all comes down to sex in the end, whether it’s gay marriage, women priests, gender identity or no fault divorce. I’m not sure Sandy prepared me for all this. It makes one nostalgic for the good old days when people argued about grace, salvation and transubstantiation. It was all so much simpler then.

Heigh-ho! Till the next time – if there is a next time

Your friend,


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