Columnists > ‘Bishops, barmy or not, are now being used in a proxy war over benefit cuts’

27 February 2014 | by Christopher Howse

‘Bishops, barmy or not, are now being used in a proxy war over benefit cuts’

Christopher Howse’s Presswatch

“Barmy bishop backing benefits bums,” ran the headline in The Sun. The bishop in question was an archbishop on the eve of being made a cardinal, in other words, Vincent Nichols of Westminster. The words underneath were by Katie Hopkins, a columnist who made a name on the reality show The Apprentice. She is admired for her invective, having once dismissed a fellow contestant as “far too orange to be taken seriously”. It was not an imputation of Ulster Protestantism but a comment on her tan.“The archbishop,” she remarked last week, “is a man of the Church, not the House of Commons.” There she is right, for though the state law against Catholic priests sitting in the Commons was repealed in 2001, canon law is presumed to prohibit any such thing


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