Of course it is "completely bonkers" for Pope Francis to ask the 150 bishops at the forthcoming synod to advise him on changes to teachings on family life ("Asking bishops for advice on family life 'bonkers', says Mary McAleese", June 17th).
There was a very half-hearted attempt at consulting Catholic laypeople to ascertain their views and doubtless by now these views will be summarised beyond recognition into lifeless generalities.
What is needed is women like Mary McAleese to address these celibate eminences and shake them out of their dogmatic slumber.
However, such a move is extremely unlikely as the bishops believe they already have all the answers. The problem, as they see it, is simple - Catholic laypeople are obstinately refusing to listen to them.
THE IRISH TIMES, 18 June 2014