28 March 2018, The Tablet

Why cannot there be another consultation to energise the Catholic faithful?

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Pope John Paul II sat behind his desk to receive his two VIP English visitors – the Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Worlock, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Basil Hume. Worlock solemnly laid in front of the Pope the publication he had brought with him, opened at what he thought was the key page. “This,” he said proudly, “is the faith of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.” It was the report of the National Pastoral Congress, which had taken place in Liverpool earlier in 1980, and of the bishops’ considered response, a document known as The Easter People.

The Pope glanced down, took in the gist of the text, and then purposively pushed the document away. Worlock’s published account of the meeting ignored that gesture, but he revealed it in his private papers.

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