Wednesday in Washington

Today began for me with a press conference in the Press Club.  Being there was a wonderful experience.  It is a very imposing and luxurious place.  The walls are full of photographs of so many of the great people of American media in the past. We were received by the President of the Club, and generally treated like royalty. The President, who is Jewish, chaired the press conference. And when it was all over we had lunch in the Club.

At the press conference the media were more interested in my views on the Synod than anything else. Diid I believe it constituted a victory or a defeat for Francis? I am inclined to be very positive about it, both about the process and the reports, and about Francis’ final address.

After lunch I went to a radio station where I did a long interview for a religious affairs hour on public radio.  The interviewer  was a nun, and it was a real pleasure to discuss my situation, and the current state of the Church, with somebody who understood that whole world.

I find that sometimes, in an interview like the one I had today, you can end up saying something that you never acknowledged even to yourself that you believed. That happened to me in this case. I had discussed with her what I consider the unjust and unfair procedure adopted by the CDF in its dealings with me. Later in the interview she asked me what would I say to people who accused me of not obeying a legitimate authority in the Church. My answer was to focus on the word ‘legitimate’. I said that an institution that, by its way of exercising authority, tramples on the basic human rights of another person cedes all right to legitimacy.  And I knew when I said it that it was exactly what I believe!  It was an interesting experience.

Later on in the evening I met with a small group of priest, and in the course of a chat for about two hours, I learned a lot about the Church in America, and in particular the diocese of Washington. They were lovely guys, and I enjoyed talking to them.

Some of the young people involved in the reform movement were at the press conference this morning, and I see that they have tweeted extensively about it.

I have more media tomorrow morning, and then, in the evening, I have my first public talk — in a Lutheran Church. My critics in Ireland, who have often accused me of being like Martin Luther, will have ammunition for their view!!!!!!

More tomorrow