November 23rd 2006 is a day that will live in my heart. When I met you that day in Rome, it was love at first sight.
I dared to hope and believe that you too would love me and that one day we would be able to enter into a holy union of Rome and Canterbury.
I also hoped that on that future day you would give me one of those lovely red hats. (No, I am not a red-hat lady, but I do value Cardinal principles). I would be happy to be another New-man.
Darling Benny, I am so excited that you will soon visit us in England. I am, as you have read, the Primate of All England, so I will be at the airport to greet you and to kiss your ring (off-camera of course).
And, sweetie-pie, do try to develop an hiraeth for Wales. You may not know this, but Wales is my home, and it is not a part of England.
Maybe we could spend ten minutes in Monmouth where at one time I was the Bishop. The nice thing about Monmouth is that it has never known whether it is Welsh or English. That reminds me of the Anglican Church - we have never known whether we are catholic or protestant. I know that YOU alone can resolve that question.
And now my darling Benny, you need to know something about my family.
I have grandchildren in Africa. Many of them are so happy that you are sticking by an old family tradition and will view gays and Muslims as “beyond the pale”.
My cousins in Australia are not so clear about our intended marriage. Many of them would love to see you as the biblical “head of the house”. But Sydney is a trouble-maker. He will rebel at every turn. He is pissed off that I am not dating Genevieve – oops- I meant Geneva.
My English family is mostly enthusiastic about our love.
“Forward in Faith” is looking forward to your Firm and Fatherly hand.
“Reform” thinks that you are right about excluding gays and women in the Church, but wishes that you would be kinder to Genevieve/Geneva.
Sadly, my oldest Child - the American “Episcopal Church” is almost totally opposed to our marriage. She believes that both women and men should be Priests. She also believes that many lesbian and gay Christians are called to the Priesthood and the Episcopate. Try as I might I cannot cajole her into line.
(But do not fear! Another American -Robert - a grand-child of mine who moved to Pittsburgh – is all in favour of our marriage. He is a bit wobbly on women as Priests, but he is as sure as you and I are that homosexuals are intrinsically disordered. .
All things being equal my dearest Benny, even if you and I cannot marry, let’s work together so that my son, your dear friend Robert, is firstly Archbishop in Canterbury; then Cardinal in Rome; and then, as I dare to dream, Robert Duncan, the first American Pontiff.
That would put the queers in their place!
[ Oops === did really I say that? ]
++ Rowan Cantuar