I'm glad Lord Alton has written something for the Herald because it is must be a welcome break in his busy schedule in the House of Lords and, on top of this, tabling amendments to the disciple of celibacy in the Catholic Church.
It's worth noting that not only did Our Lord chose men to be Apostles, men who we can safely assume sacrificed marital and family life for the Kingdom of God at that, but that Our Lord chose, among His Apostles, not a single politician. Why do these people think that 21 MPs signing a letter to the Pope to relax the Church's laws on celibacy for Priests carries more weight than 21 convenience shop keepers writing to the Pope to relax the laws on celibacy for Priests?
The whole thing smacks of self-importance - first, that lay men and women really believe their misguided opinions will sway the Successor of St Peter to their way of thinking and, secondly, because they obviously think that because they are politicians that their thoughts on the matter are incredibly important. In fact, their opinions on this discipline are no more important than any Catholic lay street sweeper's. As Lord Tebbit would say, 'On your bike, Lord Alton!' If you wanted to govern the Church, you should have ditched the politics lark and concentrated on a Church 'career'.