Dr Swift was sadly unavailable this St Patrick’s Day to excoriate with his satiric pen the sad decline of the Irish. It was left to the no less fluent Fr Rutler, parish priest, New Yorker, honorary Texan. So effective was his polemic, that it was taken up by the Irish Times and broadcast to the nation.
But Fr Rutler’s excoriations are not news.
A quarter of a century ago I was invited to debate the ordination of women (with a women priest of the Church of Ireland) in the prestigious historical society of Trinity College Dublin. The society boasts foundation by Queen Elizabeth I herself – though with what veracity I leave you to surmise. The debate was disorderly (the Yahoos were out in force). I was compelled to remark in the course of it that the majority of arguments in favour of women priests were nothing of the sort. They were arguments against the Catholic religion