As a Catholic student in the seventies and eighties, it would have then seemed incredible that we should have now reached this impasse in the Church, where posturing is preferred over truth-telling, denial over pastoral care, scape-goating over integration and so on and so on. I suppose I should have realized that all was not as it should be when I was waiting for a public audience with Paul VI, and a priest in a cassock tried to solicit me in St Peter’s claiming he was conducting a survey into sexuality. That grubby encounter was prophetic in a way that Humanae Vitae was not. The problem is the clergy. At best there is a cognitive dissonance; more often a shattering absence of integrity. Martin Leahy below rightly asks this at the highest level: what on earth could Pope Benedict XVI have been thinking when he announced that homosexuals could not be ordained? Where had he been living? To his credit, Cardinal Nichols at least showed a sense of humour when he secured his red hat finally by kicking out the LGBT community from the Assumption, London, and handing the church over to the Ordinariate – a positive hotbed of heterosexuals, I don’t think.