A few posts have had a dig at the bishop of Rome’s (aka the Pope) invitation to Anglo-Catholics to join the fold. Both the Dunedin School and Vulgar Marxism are, shall we say, less than sympathetic to both ‘fearful, reactionary, sexist and homophobic’ Anglicans and the ‘beast of Rome’. I’m a much more civil person than either DS and VM, as any reader here will vouch.

However, I have just been working through Gramsci again, where the question of universals appears. The very name ‘Roman Catholic’, with its claim to catholicity tied into a particular place and form of the church, indicates that the RC definition of ‘universal’ is one of exclusion. In the very act of trying to envelop various breakaway and fringe groups into the fold, Mr Ratzinger continues to enact this form of exclusive universal. Either you join us on our terms or you are not part of the universal church. However, Gramsci, while seeking to learn much from the RCs as well as the Protestants for the communist movement, breaks with this exclusive universal. He works towards an inclusive universal, one of alliances and comrades rather than heretics and grovelling prodigals.