Letters

Keep the lights on; Flesh and blood saint; Cardinal lesson; Pro-life Trump; Caveat emptor Premium

01 December 2016

Keep the lights on
Michael Walsh’s powerful article about the impending closure of the Jesuit flagship in London, Heythrop College (26 November), is dramatically entitled “The dying of the light”. But the offer to the Jesuits of distinct premises on the campus of Roehampton University, including space set aside for the Heythrop library, remains open. If this offer was acceptable in June, why not now?

As Walsh writes, the block at the time was the inability of Cardinal Vincent Nichols to give the offer his support. It is suggested that one reason was that he wanted Westminster seminarians to be trained at St Mary’s University, which the bishops of England and Wales regard as “theirs”, and not in Roehampton. But that issue has now been dealt with; and the Cardinal’s opinion was not a veto.

In that case, whose fingers are on the “off” switch? Could it be that the failure of confidence and daring, reflecting so badly on the Society, as Walsh writes, stems from some in the Jesuit provincial’s office in Mayfair? Is this why the Jesuit funding body withdrew from attending the proposed round-table talks between it, the bishops and the Heythrop governors?

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