Roman Catholics: Gadfly

Among the 2,500 mostly learned and lordly Roman Catholic bishops around the world, English Archbishop Thomas d'Esterre Roberts, 71, is an independent spirit who feels free to put churchly propositions up to the measure of his own reason. He has no use for pomp, and to discourage people from kissing his episcopal ring, he jokes, "I carry it in my back pocket."

Last week he was at Seattle University, wreathed in a cloud of Salem smoke, sitting at a desk littered with matchbooks, letters and Agatha Christie novels. He would rather have been in Southern California. But the arch-conservative Archbishop...

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