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The possibility of married clergy and the ordination of women should be looked at once again.

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I am one of that “number of bishops” referred to by Bishop John Crowley in his admirable letter [on the ordination of women] of 23 June and further challenged to reveal themselves by John Mulholland in his letter of 30 June.

In his article “The Trump effect” (30 June), Michael McGough claims that the US Catholic bishops are “almost always in accord” with the President on moves to end the legalisation of abortion.

"… we certainly do need a revision of Humanae Vitae, 50 years after Paul VI’s encyclical. It is in many respects a sensitive and thoughtful document, but on the subject of contraception it fails to pay sufficient attention to the health of women and mothers."

" … why, as a bishop, has John Crowley had to suppress his own feelings and views until his retirement?"

"From as far back as 1965, the year of my ordination as priest, I had sensed on a purely instinctive, subjective level, that whether someone was married or single, male or female, should not be determinative in admitting someone to the priesthood."

Fifty years on, I’m still confused, bemused and saddened by Humanae Vitae.

You say that “the unborn have a unique status, one that is about becoming fully human rather than already being fully human”. You say this is an ancient belief, still current in Orthodox Judaism. It is also the position held by many Anglicans.

The issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Catholic Church has not gone away, and will not go away despite the best efforts of some members of the hierarchy to throttle it.

Topic of the week

Pregnant women have indeed the right, the duty and the privilege to respect and nurture the lives of their unborn babies


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