Question 1. "X told Y to do Z voluntarily". Using Formal Logic, vindicate the internal coherence of this statement. [Candidates may not use more than eleven sheets of A4, but must show all workings.]
Question 2. Compose, in the style of Plato, a Dialogue on Tapeinosis between Socrates, Prometheus, and Neo-Pelagius. [Credit will be given to candidates making reference to Pandora and her box.]
Question 3. Construct a treatise, as if written by a German Cardinal, demonstrating that, although Genocide is not, strictly speaking, acceptable in the current state of the Magisterium, it could nevertheless (given its abiding popularity in both the developed and developing worlds) be tolerated.
Question 4. Construct a treatise, as if written by an Anglo-Irish Cardinal, demonstrating that, although Genocide is not in accordance with the current state of the Magisterium, application of the principles elucidated by Newman in his Essay on Development might, in the future, make it doctrinally acceptable.
Question 5. Write a Petrarchian sonnet upon your emotional transports of delight when, on 13 March 2013, standing in S Peter's Square, you heard the words Buona sera; sono il vescovo di Roma. Have a nice day. [Candidates may not describe the physical charms of Beatrice.]
Question 6. "The excommunications incurred by the SSPX bishops were remitted by Benedict XVI, but they are still excommunicated schismatics". How, as a pastor, would you explain this fruitful and elegant paradox to a layperson without a doctorate in Canon Law?
It is the most open secret in English Catholic life that the high point of the social year is the Dinner which the Bishops annually give in Westminster to Catholic Clerical Bloggers. Their motive as wise pastors for doing this is to thank us, with immense enthusiasm and sincerity, for all our hard work; to encourage us to carry on; to facilitate dialogue; to help the Bishops to understand the Bloggers and vice versa; to enable us all to work reflectively together with great concord for the Kingdom; and, quite simply, as Bishops, to be alongside their clergy. It is a most unbuttoned occasion; the Bishops speak increasingly frankly as the Cardinal's Wine Butler and Footmen make us free of the extensive and well-stocked cellars beneath Archbishop's House. (You wouldn't believe what was actually said by ... But NO, my lips are sealed.) These vast cellars contain, as you have probably heard, entire ancient vintages, entire growths, which are passing their best and badly need drinking up; and the Bishops enormously value the help generously given by the Bloggers in doing this ... for example: I rather think the Challoner Port is beginning to fade just a little, just the teensy-weensiest bit ... and with five dozen bottles still left ... so ... umm ....
Question 7. Construct a menu, including wines (growths and vintages), which would be suitable for the next Bishops' and Bloggers' Dinner. [Candidates should assume a Dinner of at least six courses.]
Afterword for non-native English speakers: the above contains passages of what in this strange country, so unlike any other, we call "Irony". This means that (for example) the section headed Preamble is entirely fantasy. I wish it were all literally true ... I suspect, in fact, that the foundations of Archbishop's House are not high enough above the Thames water-table for there to be any safe cellarage. I doubt whether Cardinal Nichols has Butlers and Footmen (although I think Cardinal Wiseman might have had one or two) ... and any port laid down by Bishop Challoner (for whose Beatification I say the traditional prayers after offering Mass, from his own Missal, at Milton Manor where he stayed) would have faded quite away at least a century and a half ago. But it's all a lovely thought. How do you comfort yourself in your own country?