Cardinal in fine form
RY THE TIME these " words appear Cardinal Heenan will be in Rome for the , meeting of the Synod of Bishops. Before he left I spent over an hour with him at Westminster discussing a wide range of topics—all of them, unfortunately for readers, off the record.
Although he had only just ended the long convalescence forced on him by the illness that struck in June the Cardinal was back to form in every sense—as alert as ever, as articulate as ever, and quick to see the humour of a situation. If anything I found him more mellow and relaxed than the last time we met shortly before he went into hospital.
Although over 20 years older than I am, he beat me across the room to pick up a book from a case. I don't mind particularly being left behind in a discussion with a Cardinal but I would like to think physically I can keep up with them. Even deskbound editors have their pride. WHOEVER said our Hier archy consisted of unknown faceless men? If my postbag is any guide everyone in England and Wales knows the difference, at any rate, between Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham and Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff. An editorial gremlin last week transposed the captions on this page. so that Archbishop Dwyer was described as Archbishop Murphy and vice-versa. My apologies to both Archbishops and to our readers—even to those who did not write protesting at my incompetence.
A special word of thanks to K. S. Andrews of Harrogate, who sent a delightful paste-up of features in the CATHOLIC HERALD. "This Week" was shown to be edited by Kerry Stephenson with a picture alongside of Norman St JohnStevas. At the moment I am praying that this week my picture does not get transposed with that of Rosemary Haughton. Even her boundless charity could not extend to forgiving that.
MY congratulations to Chris Hennessy, editor of the Universe, on completing 30 years' service with the paper. This week his directors gave a lunch for him to mark the occasion. Thirty years is a long stint in any business but 30 years on one paper is almost a miracle. You need to be good to survive so long, but no doubt his early work on the CATHOLIC HERALD helped.
From a personal point of view here's wishing him every success for • the next 30. although I realise that from a professional standpoint this smacks of masochism.
AS A DRINKER but a non-driver I am absolutely on the side of the new laws when they come into force on October 9. What has surprised me is that nearly all my drink-and-drive friends also agree with them, although they concede that the laws are going to make quite a difference to their social habits.
In my own "local" most people come by car although many of them live within a mile of the pub. From October 9 these people will be walking there and walking back, and the only deleterious consequence I can foresee is that they will probably drink a bit more. The walk there will give them an added thirst while the daunting prospect of the walk back will tempt them to have one for the road.
For those like myself who have a driver wife life will go on as before, and perhaps the re-emergence of the chauffeur into English life will be one of the features accompanying the new laws. If this happens we shall have to rethink the meaning of a certain cliché. My wife doesn't, for instance, relish the idea of being the person who will be driving me to drink. FOR some inexplicable rea son I was not invited to the party to launch the "McCabe Affair" paperback. but my spies tell me that it was a rather jolly affair with some "with-it" priests in rather garish mufti. One of the guests evidently took a slightly jaundiced view of their dress and exclaimed: "Hm. Quite a lot of apostles disguised .as fishermen tonight."