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I was interested though not surprised to read in Fr Brian Harrison's letter of a communication which 'had mysteriously failed ever to reach His Eminence.'
My experience may be of interest or value.
When Bishop Morris appeared in the Courier Mail wishing for the right to ordain women as priests, I wrote to him that surely the Church had always taught that this was an impossibility, and this teaching had been repeated 'definitively' by John Paul II and restated by Benedict XVI.
He replied, courteously and promptly, that this was not so. 'If you don't believe me, please feel free to write to Rome.'
This I did with alacrity, to Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Some considerable time elapsed, and I sent a couple of more strongly worded communications mentioning my intention, if necessary, to publish widely in the secular media.
My original expectation of a speedy and substantial reply rested on the experience of writing to Pope John Paul II in 1981 and receiving a heart-warming reply in eight days. It took a while to realise that he had dictated this reply while lying in bed with a bullet wound in his stomach.
Eventually a postcard arrived from the Congregation over an illegible signature, blandly recommending that I read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.
What do I do next - take out full page ads in the London Times or the New York Times? Is there a Bishops' Broederbond which has decided that whatever scandal or damage is done to the souls in their care, bishops will not be embarrassed by being told publicly that they are wrong ?
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 1 (February 2008), p. 15
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