Letter: Rebel priest

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Rebel priest

Sir: Your report on Father Pat Buckley ("Rebel bishop to ordain women priests", 3 August) includes three quotations beginning, "I think..." That is the key. He has acted for many years now on the basis of his own views rather than on the teaching and discipline of the Catholic Church.

He is not, as he probably describes himself, "a rebel Irish bishop". He is a rebel Irish priest who recently had himself clandestinely ordained bishop by another clandestine bishop. Catholic bishops are ordained in a gathering of bishops who witness to the communion of the Church, after proper appointment. Pat Buckley and Michael Cox did the deed secretly and announced it later; both knew and accepted that they would be automatically excommunicated; it is much more than "a technical breach of canon law".


Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, 1974-1992