On Boxing Day evening I emailed the following to the Times Letters Editor, and the next morning put it into this blog with a delayed posting date of January 2. I anticipate that it will not be published in the Thunderer.
There are two rules in writing to the Times, so I have discovered over the years:
(1) Unless you are very important, keep it brief; and
(2) Never attack the Times itself.
You will see that I kept to Rule no 1; my flagrant disregard for Rule no 2 is what, I assume, will send my letter straight into the bin.
As an Anglican priest, I have no vested interest in defending the views of the Bishop of Rome on gender and sexuality. But I cannot help feeling that ethical discourse may sometimes be a little more complex than journalists find it convenient to assume when they are pope-baiting (December 24).
If the Pope were to suggest that those with an exclusive sexual predilection for children are called to a life of celibacy, I wonder if your Leader Writer would treat his views with contempt. If there appeared to be scientific evidence that paedophilia had origins in genetic or environmental factors and was culturally widespread throughout human history, I wonder if your Science Editor would invite him to regard it as part of humanity's rich diversity.
It's just as well that it will never see the light of day. What Fr Zed would call the profanum vulgus has such a tenuous grasp upon logic that half of them would send me hate-mail for, as it seemed to them, defending paedophilia; and the other half for saying, so they would allege, that all homosexuals are paedophiles.