What the Pope said about gender


Madam, - In your edition of January 3rd, both Breda O'Brien and David Adams (Opinion Analysis) offer their respective views on the end-of-year statement by Pope Benedict XVI (delivered to the Curia on December 22nd).

What is startling, however, is that Mr Adams analyses a statement that was never made (as pointed out by Louis Power on the Letters page of the same edition). In the relevant section of the Pope's address, neither homosexuality nor transsexuality were mentioned.

Ms O'Brien deals with the Pope's actual text.

What seems even more startling is that The Irish Times cleared both columns for publication on the same page!

When a columnist makes an analysis of a papal statement that does exist, how do you clear another writer's analysis of the same topic based on a statement that does not exist?

How could Mr Adam's presentation be editorially cleared when, in the days prior to its publication, the report of Pope Benedict's address - as released initially by Reuter - had to be withdrawn and recirculated in its original form?

Still, my respect for The Irish Times will not be diminished by what appears to be a rare editorial cock-up. - Yours, etc,


African Missions,



Co Down.