Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thanks to the council

The real trouble lay deeper. Up till now the Dower House had contained a wonderfully united family. The cause and focal point of this unity had been its religion. The marriage had been due to it, as also the existence of Richard and George. The years of continence and the attempt at the "safe period" would have been impossible without a religious motive. Above all, their reciprocal trust and esteem was grounded in their common religion. Richard, too, had so far grown up with the undivided example of his parents. That was all wonderful and gave rise to the undefinable sentiment called happiness.

Thanks to the council – and Judith had not the slightest doubt where to lay the blame – all that had vanished. The Dower House contained a divided family. Religion was no longer the cause of unity but of dissent. And this must be happening in hundreds of thousands of families throughout the world. Doubtless each family had different problems but all had been held together by the internal, intrinsic grip of their religion. As Judith meditated on these things she could foresee that Catholic decrees of nullity would soon be as common as non-Catholic divorces. That brought her to a halt. Would she and Edmund get divorced? It was unthinkable! No, since the council, nothing was unthinkable. Anyway, for the sake of an illusory ecumenism – or so it was said – the council had shattered the only true unity in the world, that of the Catholic Faith. And along with that unity all lesser, dependent unities had been cracked if not broken asunder.

— Bryan Houghton, Judith's Marriage, 1987, pp. 181–182.