Trinity academic to become first woman cardinal shock!

No, Not Crocodile Dundee’s soon to be ex -wife but the vice provost of Trinity College Dublin. A real Sunday flyer

From the Sunday Times (£)

SHE may be a woman, married, a feminist and only 49, but an Irish theologian called Linda Hogan is being tipped as the Vatican’s first lady in red.

There has never been a female cardinal, but since Pope Francis took charge in Rome eight months ago and emerged as a social liberal the unthinkable has become possible.

Speculation is rampant that the reformist Argentinian Pope will invite a woman to don the red hat and sit in the Holy See’s papal conclave, which will pick his successor one day. In theory she could become pope herself.

The new Pope has repeatedly said he wants to increase the role of women in the church and that it needs to develop “a truly deep theology of women”.

The Washington Post first picked up the story from Juan Arias, a former priest from Brazil, who wrote in the Spanish newspaper El Pais in September that it was “not a joke”. After a slight delay its’ gone viral.

The Protect the Pope Catholic website adds some context

In the U.S., the Rev. James Keenan, a fellow Jesuit and a well-regarded moral theologian at Boston College, started a post on his Facebook page soliciting nominees for the first female cardinal. Keenan said he wrote the post mainly as a way to recognize the many women who would be “great candidates.” On his list: Linda Hogan, a professor of ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin; Sister Teresa Okure, a theology professor at the Catholic Institute of West Africa in Nigeria; and Maryanne Loughry, associate director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Australia.’

Prof Linda Hogan is a signatory of the so called ‘Catholic Scholars Jubilee Declaration on Authority in the Catholic Church’ and has spoken out against the CDF disciplinary actions against six dissenting Irish priests, including Fr Tony Flannery. Prof Hogan has put her name to the following statement:

‘A principal source of present-day stagnation lies in misunderstanding and abuse affecting the exercise of authority in our Church. Specifically, the following issues require urgent redress: The role of the papacy needs to be clearly re-defined in line with Christ’s intentions. As supreme pastor, unifier and prime witness to faith, the pope contributes substantially to the health of the universal church. However, his authority may never obscure, diminish or suppress the authentic authority directly given by Christ to all members of the people of God. Bishops are vicars of Christ, not vicars of the pope. They carry immediate responsibility for people in their dioceses, and joint responsibility, with other bishops and the pope, for the world-wide community of faith.


Protect the Pope however manages to contain its excitement

Protect the Pope comment: This has got to be one of the most bizarre stories yet to emerge about the pontificate of Francis which shows the near hysterical fever pitch among dissenters projecting their ‘dream reforms’ onto the Holy Father. The sentence that Prof. Linda Hogan, as cardinal, would be ‘eligible to cast a vote in the election of the next pope’ is such as huge reach as to be humorous

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London