Friday 3 May 2024

What Might Have Been

One year today since the executive summary that exonerated Bishop Robert Byrne CO, provoking the hysterical backlash that led to the publication the following month of what must have been a totally different report. Where is the original report?

If only in my dreams, there is a world in which Benedict XVI remained Pope until he died, while Jeremy Corbyn either found those 2,227 votes in the right places in 2017, or Labour under him became, as it would have done, the largest party in the hung Parliament of 2022. Neither of those might ever have been entirely convinced, but in the midst of neoliberal capitalism and its wars, Catholic orthodoxy, and it alone, offers and compels a basis for radical action beyond the wildest imaginings of anything constrained by dialectical materialism.

And there is a world, it may even be the same one, in which Bishop Byrne, who it must be said was appointed by Pope Francis, was still in post, while Jamie Driscoll had just been elected Mayor of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority. Whether or not it would ever have been quite to either of their tastes, the North East would have become an international centre, and perhaps the global centre, of that radical orthodoxy. Hey, ho. Onwards and upwards.


  1. Concilium is now edited from within this diocese, I despair.

    1. A layman who is not employed by the Church, but yes. That Centre insinuates a connection, and the Church lets it.