Five years ago next Tuesday, I stood in the rain in St Peter’s Square, sharing an umbrella with a nun I’ll call Sr Monica. It was the night of Pope Francis’ election; the smoke from the Sistine Chapel had turned white, and we were about to discover the identity of the new pontiff.
But it was a long wait, and there was plenty of time to chat with my new acquaintance. What was it like, I asked her, working inside such a male-dominated world? I expected her to say her tasks were interesting, that the priests, bishops and cardinals she worked for were kind, that she felt valued. But she didn’t.