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Interview with rumored British ambassador to the Holy See

Catholic World News - July 20, 2010

The New Statesman has published a lengthy interview with Ann Widdecombe, a convert to Catholicism who served in Parliament from 1987 to 2010 and is rumored to be a leading candidate to become the next British ambassador to the Holy See.

“I left the Church of England because there was a huge bundle of straw,” she says. “The ordination of women was the last straw, but it was only one of many. For years I had been disillusioned by the Church of England's compromising on everything. The Catholic Church doesn't care if something is unpopular. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned if it's true it's true, and if it's false it's false.”

Asked, “Is the priesthood the only field from which you feel women should be exempt?”, Widdecombe replied:

I despair when people say, "But you're a successful woman." I do not stand in persona Christi at the point of the consecration. That is what we're talking about -- we're talking about a woman standing in the person of Christ. You might as well ask a man to stand in the person of the Virgin Mary. It's something that's been brought about purely in response to the modern pressure for equality. And that's fine: I believe in equality, from the Prime Minister down through the country. But the Church is a thing apart and always should be.

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