Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

You deal with very delicate issues in the Witch of Portobello, such as prejudice, religious intolerance and dogma. Aren’t you afraid of being excommunicated from the Catholic Church with this novel? After all you defend the idea that God is the Great Mother.

I’m not afraid of that. I go every year to a Benedictine retreat in Austria, called Melk. There I spoke to abbot Buckhard about catholic tradition and, during our talks, the issue of women’s exclusion came up. He told me that the Benedictine have prayers dedicated to the Goddess-Mother. In 200 years I believe that feminine divinity will no longer be a taboo.