Another John XXIII?


Sir, – Patsy McGarry reminds us that Bishop Willie Walsh expressed a wish to see another Pope John XXIII (August 17th).

One wonders which Pope John XXIII he had in mind. Was it the John XXIII who was admired by Evelyn Waugh? Or was it the John XXIII whose Journal of a Soul testifies to a bishop and a pope who was nurtured on the piety of the Counter-Reformation? Or did Bishop Walsh have in mind the John XXIII who in the same spiritual journal wrote of his desire to be worthy enough to preside over the canonisation of Pope Pius IX ( not a pontiff remarkable for his concessions to rationalism or modernity )? One fears that the former bishop of Killaloe made the error – not an uncommon one, it must be allowed – of confusing affability with unorthodoxy. – Yours, etc,


Ulidia House,

Donegall Road, Belfast.