Has Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor been offered a peerage?
"Instead of blaming the Government for materialism and social problems, responsibility should be shared more widely. Ordinary people and churchmen also bear some of the blame. If we are going to accuse people of immorality it is much further than the Government, it is the whole country."
He continued, "I am not too happy with the blame game because if we say that there has to be a 'conversion', then I always start with myself."
This is not a game, Your Eminence. And why on earth may one not apportion blame when it is the reckless and myopic policies of Gordon Brown and this Labour Government which have led us to this sorry state of affairs? Did Jesus not blame? Did the prophets not blame?
And if you wish to talk of 'conversion', Your Eminence, you are welcome to start with yourself.
The Cardinal clarifies: "Obviously, governments have a particular responsibility but so have the people, so have the cities, so have the communities, I always think that a change of heart begins locally...you can't bring it about just by Government."
Well, Your Eminence, you have cetainly changed your tune over the past few years. Do you not recall questioning whether Roman Catholics can be loyal to the policies of this Labour Government? Do you not recall objecting to the imposition of 'a different version of our democracy' - one in which 'diversity and equality are held to be at odds with religion'?
The Cardinal was asked whether he agreed with the Bishop of Manchester that this Labour Government has been 'beguiled by money'. He responded: "I do not think that is the whole truth at all."
The whole truth?
What a bizarrely and inadequately ambiguous response this is.
Cranmer knows this man is on the way out - indeed, the announcement of his successor is imminent - but this new-found support for Gordon Brown against the Archbishop of Canterbury and the five bishops (not to mention the Conservative Party) is bemusing. Has he any idea what Labour has done to this country and its people? Has he any awareness of the profoundly anti-Christian legislation they have placed on the statute books? Has he not experienced its illiberal tendencies? Its intolerant secularism? Its refusal to re-examine abortion legislation? Does he know what it has done to Catholic adoption agencies or what it has tried to do to Catholic schools? Does he care?
The Cardinal's fervent support will certainly please Downing Street.
But Cranmer cannot help wondering if His Eminence has been offered a peerage.
Would he accept what Cardinal Basil Hume always refused? Would the Pope permit him to fuse the temporal with the spiritual?
Or would he care at all what the Pope says?