Introducing a controversial figure into Catholicism.
We are fortunate to be able to reprint the entire text of the letter, as follows:
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos: cuius regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per Prophetas. Et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.
"Catholics should be seen and not heard. Except for me, of course."
Already this inflammatory letter has been condemned by Vincent Nichols, who explained that it was clearly improper for priests to make dogmatic statements of Christian belief in the press. As he put it, could they not rely on him to waffle and obfuscate the issues on TV and radio?
The context, of course, is the forthcoming synod, at which an intense debate is expected. If you don't want to know the final result look away now.
[Cardinal Kasper has already written the final report, in which it is decided that Christian doctrine is too severe and lacking in mercy, and that the bits of the creed to do with sin and redemption are no longer appropriate. Also the "Spiritus Sanctus" should now be replaced by the "Spiritus Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani Secundi".]
Other critics of the letter include Gerald O'Collins SJ, who has suggested that the version of the Creed used in the famous 1998 paraphrase of the Mass should be adopted instead. "It's not much fun spending 17 years doing Latin homework, only to be told that I only got a B-minus," he complains. "How was I to know that 'Credo' doesn't mean 'We believe'?"
Pope Francis has so far not commented on the letter to the Catholic Herald. There is a suggestion going round that this is because he is a Tablet-reader, but we think it is just a malicious rumour put about by one of those traddie bloggers such as Mundabor or Rorate Caeli.
Well, never mind the Creed. Buy your priest something to help him smell of the sheep.