First of all I would like to say how much I am looking forward to your visit to the UK later this year. Many on the Left, plus some Christians are not, but I think it would be a good thing for a no of reasons. For one thing I hope it will encourage Catholic relations within the UK, it will help dialogue, and you will get to see what a wonderful and inclusive country we are, as well as getting to meet some great people and see some interesting sites. I have no doubt that your visit may well include Canterbury Cathedral, where St Thomas a Beckett was murdered, as well as Walsingham where many pilgrims have gone armed with a strong faith in God which we both share, although I suspect with your status, years, and experience, your faith is much better than mine.
Given all of this I have one favour to ask of you. I have no right to ask it and I have no doubt that if by some small miracle you read this it may well be dismissed as the ignorant views of someone who does not understand, but please bear with me. It is simply that I ask you to re-evaluate your view of the Equalities Bill.
Please note I am not asking you to change your views on homosexuality, that would perhaps be a miracle too far, but I humbly ask that whilst I appreciate that there is a strong feeling that there must be no compromise, no dilution of the faith, however you see it, and whilst I appreciate many "Hate the sin but not the sinner", I wonder if to deny homosexuals senior positions takes into account notions of celibacy, a sense of calling, equally exacting standards on heterosexuals, equality (given that we are all sinners), the fact many homosexuals have felt alienated, shut off, cast aside by a Church whose love and support they feel has been withdrawn from them when they desperately need it. The Bible talks of many things, but in the midst of what it does and does not say I know that we are firmly called to love our neighbour as we love ourselves and to be there for those who feel alienated and maginalised, no matter how uncomfortable we find that to be. I speak as someone who, whilst heterosexual, has a no of gay friends, Christian and otherwise, who will have been hurt and disappointed by your views on the Equalities Bill, no matter how well meaning you meant it to be.
I am sure you know this, that in your many years, first as a Priest, then as an Academic, as Archbishop, Vatican Civil Servant, and as Pope you have seen some of this first hand. I am equally sure you know better than me in how to deal with this awful situation, but wouldn't it be great if you could show some love and affirmation, some acceptance that you love these people unconditionally, as Christ loves all unconditionally. I am sure you feel you have done so, but wouldn't it be great to be more open and to use more broad language.
Your Holiness, some look down on the Roman Catholic Church as hypocritical and corrupt, I honestly don't. I don't think I could ever be a Catholic, but there is much that I love about the Church, such as some of it's traditions, it's history, the examples of many such as, in recent times, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and Pope John XXIII. I think though, how great it would be if many could see what I see and learn to at least respect such a wealth of tradition and joy, irrespective of the foul abuses of those within who have helped pollute that image. I believe God has called you to be Pope, simply because, as a Christian I cannot believe that the prayers of many since the death of your predecessor were in vain. I don't know why God has called you to be Pope, but there must be some reason, so it is that I hope that one of the reasons is that you are able to show some of Christ's unconditional love to the World in a way that is seen by all.
With genuine and great respect