Letter: Asking pardon

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Sir: According to my MP, Ann Widdecombe ('Commons approves female ordination by crushing margin', 30 October), it has taken 400 years to 'get round to forgiving Galileo'. Forgive Galileo, for what? For suggesting that the planets might just revolve round the Sun? If that requires forgiveness, rather than an admission of gross error, then to quote Ian Hislop - 'I'm a banana'.

Perhaps likewise when the first woman is priested in the Church of England next spring, rather than beat ourselves over the head for the pain it will cause we need to a) seek forgiveness that this has not been done before and b) seek forgiveness for finding it a difficulty at all.

Yours faithfully,


The Parish of All Saints' with St Philip's

Maidstone, Kent