Newcastle Episcopi


Dear Frank,

Oh dear!

Just when I thought the gay crisis had subsided for a bit, some lunatic curate in Newcastle has got himself consecrated as an ‘alternative’ bishop by some renegade South African outfit. It really is too aggravating.

David Holloway – the man’s vicar – has been a fair to average pain for a long time. But now he is threatening reciprocal heresy trials if I intervene. That, frankly, would open a can of something a good deal more serious than worms.

I suppose I shall have to declare the invalidity of the man’s orders (your Cardinal’s paper may come in useful here!). But the problem is that the bishop of the diocese is a superannuated woman whom we put in faute de mieux, and substantial numbers don’t accept her orders either. Then there is the Bishop of Beverley, whom we thought would mop up the disaffected…

It is an absolute mess. I’d call it a buggers’ muddle if that were allowed. It reminds one of the limerick:

…they spent all the night
asking who had the right
to do what and with which and to whom

Perhaps it would be easier if I just became a Catholic. Do you think the Ordinariate would have me?

Yours in despair,


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