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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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Organisers of Ireland’s largest Catholic conference have dismissed calls for Fr Timothy Radcliffe’s invitation to be revoked over his views on homosexuality.
The National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Ireland, and a blog “Protect the Pope”, had said the former Master of the Dominicans should be dropped as a keynote speaker at this weekend’s annual International Conference of Divine Mercy at the Royal Dublin Society.
The calls were in response to Fr Radcliffe’s contribution to last year’s Anglican Pilling Report on human sexual ethics in which he said of homosexuality: “Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift.”
The Catholic television station, EWTN, has said it will not cover the conference with its Cork-based presenter, Kathy Sinnott, claiming that many Catholics in Ireland are concerned about the invitation to Fr Radcliffe because of his views on homosexuality. In a recent EWTN programme, Fr Dominic Allain, a priest of Southwark diocese, who ministers in Courage, an apostolate for Catholics with same-sex attraction, added: “A lot of what he [Fr Radcliffe] says isn’t standard Catholic teaching on sexual ethics – it is him hypothesising.”
Fr Radcliffe told [ITAL]The Tablet[UNITAL] he was surprised about the objections since his talks will “have nothing to do at all with homosexuality”.
He added that nothing he had written is in contradiction with church teaching and was in fact “deeply in resonance with the teaching of Pope Francis”.