Saturday 10 December 2016

Pope Francis should meet Lebowitz and her friends

Published 17/03/2013 | 05:00

Late last Wednesday night, presumably after Pope Francis had gone to bed, a gay woman friend texted to ask: "If you could arrange it, what three women would you pick to give Pope Francis a fresh perspective on gays, feminists and allied matters?"

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Almost by return I texted back my fantasy. Pope Francis, after the St Patrick's Day parade, would meet, over pastrami and rye, the three women thinkers I most admire, and who happen to be gay: Fran Lebowitz, Camille Paglia and the English writer, Jeanette Winterson.

You can take it I also admire Pope Francis because he took the name of St Francis of Assisi, who believed in deeds not words. Consider his gently ironic injunction to aspiring disciples, "Preach the gospel, even using words."

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