In a rare attack on his heroes, Damian Thompson identifies one of the great charisms of episcopacy on his TELEGRAPH blog:

What is “Bishopese”? It’s the repetitive waffle employed by bishops to say absolutely nothing except that they’re glad to be somewhere, an observation that they can string out to last for most of a speech. Paul Priest defined Bishopese in the thread underneath an earlier post, identifying Archbishop Vincent Nichols as a particularly fluent speaker. True, alas. Actually, Catholic bishops in general are more prone to it than Anglican ones. I wonder if it’s something to do with Irishness . . .

I don't think so, Damian. My guess is that the bishops of the Italian Church are even more scared shitless of saying something that might upset the Ministry of Propaganda at the Vatican than Church of England bishops are of upsetting that nice man, The Grand Tufti. You cannot have absolute rule and a free thinking middle management. In fact, I expect Roman Catholic bishops are chosen for their ability to retain a closed mind on everything even when confronted with the complete absurdity of what they are told they must believe.

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