Tuesday 20 February 2018

The great misfortune of Mary McAleese

An accident of birth means the former president is ineligible for her ideal role, writes Declan Lynch

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

STRANGE though it may seem in the light of all the worldly success that she has enjoyed, I tend to regard the former President Mary McAleese as a tragic figure.

She would have made an excellent archbishop, an even better cardinal, and just about the perfect pope. She should have been all these things, she had the temperament, the vision, she certainly had the ambition.

I was reminded of this again last week when she declared that it was "profoundly wrong and skewed" for the present pope to ask a synod of bishops to advise him on church teaching on "the family". That the idea of consulting "150 male celibates" on this matter was indeed "completely bonkers".

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