How does an uncompromising atheist come to write what is, in many respects, an admiring 600-page history of Catholics? He acknowledges that it seems “perverse”, though it isn’t the only time that he has tackled religious themes. “The thing that attracts me to Catholics is moral certainty,” he says. On the face of it his father, Frederick, was “a lowly local government official”. Yet 10 days after his death, Roy, by then nearly 40, opened a condolence letter from the Rt Rev William Ellis, which began, “as you will know, we were at the English College in Rome together and were young priests in the diocese of which I became bishop.”
Read the rest of Michael Duggan’s piece at The Catholic Herald.