Great Minds


Dear Frank,

I have been reading your paper La Civiltà Cattolica. It is good to learn that you are coming round to our way of thinking about women’s ordination. This is an exciting development! Jesuits are so clever.

Of course, my predecessor George Carey was not as profound a thinker as you; but he put it pretty well. If we stick with an all-male priesthood we are ‘in danger of not being heard’ by a world which only sees tradition as an alien form of authoritiarianism. Basically it’s like divorce – you have to go with the flow to get a hearing. But you know that already.

What is most exciting, however, is the effect of all this on the authority of your so-called Magisterium. If you can contradict John Paul, your successor can contradict you. Then, as the Maltese bishops seem to have grasped, the Pope has ceased to be the voice of Peter and become the voice of God. It will not be long, of course, before Vox Dei becomes merely Vox Populi; and we will all be Anglicans together!

It’s an intriguing thought, don’t you think? – using Papal Infallibility to undermine the infallibility of the Pope! But I am sure you’re way ahead of me.

Meanwhile, when the women priest thing is sorted, there will be the gay lobby to deal with. Believe me the one follows the other as the night the day. And they will make so much noise that no one will be heard.

Your friend,


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