The Womanpriest 

Reviewed By  Ian Banks       October 20, 2023


Author  Stafford Betty

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1-80341-124-8
Publisher:         Collectiveink Books
Release Date:   June 2023  


In a polarising story Stafford Betty takes the Catholic Church into the future, where a woman is ordained as the Pope for the first time in the history of the Church. This has not come without conflict and this conflict is why Macrina McGrath’s twin brother is telling the story of his sister; the woman who became the Pope.

Ex-marine and single mother Macrina McGrath is facing a crisis of faith in her life. The Church she has grown up in and loved has seemed to have taken a sideway step, refusing to modernise, still steeped in sexism, with a disgusting history of paedophilia and harsh treatment of anyone who is divorced or part of the LGBTQ sector of the community.

Looking for a way forward she travels to India where she studies Hinduism and then Buddhism, which then leads her to believe that Religion does not have to be specific to one faith; that anyone can be a part of that faith regardless of their standing in life.

Making the decision to become a Priest, she slowly moves up through the ranks of the Church to eventfully find her place in the Holy City: Rome.  Her philosophy reaches far and wide, finding acceptance of a kinder, more understanding Church, which brings back the followers, who were leaving in droves.

When the Pope abdicates for the first time in the history of the Church, sending shock waves through the Vatican, it is time to elect again; Macrina, now holding a senior office is put forward and is duly, after considerable controversy, elected as the Pope! But how many enemies has she made and how secure will she be in the male dominated city of power and corruption, all covered up nicely under the rite and ritual of a Church that has refused to change.

Stafford Betty in The Womanpriest takes to task the Catholic Church, it’s refusal to move with the demands of its massive congregation’s world-wide and refuses to accept the atrocities that have been committed over centuries, by the very men who are touted as God’s servants – the Priests.

Definitely a book that will be read with many conflicting emotions, it is a novel of modern times looking into the future, in the hope that the Dogma of the Church will eventually change to reflect the requirements of the future citizens of the world.