THE CATHOLIC HERALD is pleased to announce the appointment of a new editor, Dr William Oddie, who will take up his appointment at the end of July. Dr Oddie is already known to our readers through his fortnightly column.
William Oddie was born in 1939. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Leicester University. At 33, he was converted to Christian belief. He was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1978 and two years later became Bishop's Chaplain to graduate students at Oxford University; he was elected a fellow of St Cross College, Oxford the following year. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1991.
Having contributed regularly to the Daily Telegraph during the 1980s, his contributions appear in a wide range of publications. He is the author of a number of books, including What Will Happen to God, The Crockford's File and The Roman Option. He edited the Everyman paperback edition of John Henry Newman's Apologia Pro Vita
Otto Herschan, managing director of the Catholic Herald., said he was delighted that Dr Oddie had agreed to become editor. His distinguished career will give the Catholic Herald a new dimension.
"It is flattering,' said Mr Herschan, "that such is the standing of the Catholic Herald that Fleet Street avidly sought to identify the new editor and did so before we ourselves had the opportunity to inform our readers whom we naturally wished to be the first to know" However, a report of the appointment in one daily newspaper was somewhat misleading. Dr Oddie was described as "a traditionalist who will ensure editorials are firmly to the right." Dr Oddie responded in a letter to the paper: "Can we please abandon the inappropriate language of left and right when writing of Church affairs? What your correspondent means, I take it, is that my editorial policy will be to support and defend papal authority (I need to add here that there will, however, be no purge of "liberal" writers).
"But to follow papal leadership is hardly to commit oneself to a view which is any meaningful sense 'firmly to the right' I anticipate, for instance, that the Herald will be stepping up its support for the Pope's call to the world's wealthier nations to substantially remit the debts of all Third World countries. Like him, we shall be opposed to an economic sanctions, which (as in Iraq) victimise the poor without countervailing political benefit. We shall continue, as the Pope does, to oppose the death penalty. These policies (and many others I could cite) are hardly fight-wing; but then neither is the Pope himself.
"Your reporter also describes me as one who 'has a taste for controversy and is unafraid of confronting the Church hierarchy'. May I make it plain that I regard it as one of the functions of a
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