BY LUCY LETHBRIDGE
corridors HAS BEEN a year in which the corridors of power have echoed with the footfalls of Roman Catholics.
Now that there is a Catholic chaplaincy in the House of Commons, diehard Protestants may well feel a bit uneasy, especially when they notice the distinct whiff of the pontifical about
the new Labour MP for Hyndburn, in Lancashire.
Gregory Pope wrested the seat from its Tory incumbent in last year's general election and gracefully acknowledges that to be titled Pope Gregory on the ballot paper probably went down rather well in England's most Catholic constituency.
"I should have changed my name by deed poll," he said. In a spirit of polit
ical ecumenism he discovered that his Tory rival for the seat attended the same Marist school as him, St Mary's College in Blackburn.
Those Protestant diehards might remember with discomfort that Pope Gregory the Great was behind the conversion of England. Gregory Pope looks forward to some conversions of his own, saying "I 'd like to do to the Tories what Pope Gregory did to the Pagans."