I dreamt last night that I had gone to see Cardinal Keith O’Brien, to urge him to speak out about Amoris Laetitia. He gently suggested that he might not be the right person to do this, given his own situation. However, he pointed out that Cardinal Sodano was in the house, and so I might have a word with him. As I left him, he murmured ‘Sodano is god’, though that might have been Paul VI, who turned up briefly around this point. Before I could speak to His Eminence, however (His second Eminence, that is), Bishop Schneider was there confronting him. Sodano berated the good Athanasius for his conduct, whereupon Bishop Schneider replied undaunted: ‘Popes have been deposed by the ghosts of Popes before now! Read your history books.’ I confess to having had some misgivings about His Excellency’s ecclesiology here, though I admired his spirit. He went away, either deposed himself or else suspended a divinis. At this point I found myself next to Fr Aidan Nichols, toward whose head Sodano was stretching out his hand. What fresh outrage is this, I wondered. But no: acting as a consummate politician, His Eminence was following up the stick with a carrot. He placed a cardinal’s biretta on Fr Nichols’s head. I whispered to His new Eminence: ‘Your cat will be so proud.’ At this I laughed so much that I woke myself up.

[Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real persons or events is entirely coincidental]