Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"That's a wonderful pope you've got."

The old sectarian shrieks of "No Popery" had been turned into veneration of the Pope and admiration of the council. Now, it was precisely that – the very cause of his optimism – which had become the principle cause of his depression, along with Archbishop Roberts and episcopal porn. Every day he had to put up with well-intentioned compliments. "That's a wonderful pope you've got. Seen this article? He says we're all Christians together, be we Jews or Muslims. That what I've always believed." "By Jove, Rougham, you've got quite a bright boy in that Cardinal Suenens. He says we marry to have intercourse, nothing to do with bloody brats. Didn't know you Papists were so broad-minded." "Hello, Rougham! You're a Papist, aren't you? Congratulations! Your church has shed the blinkers. I married my daughter to one of yours last Saturday. No dam' nonsense about promises and so on. The vicar did it splendidly in the village church with your chap in attendance. Just right. That's Christian charity for you." "Went to one of your services the other day. A bit Low Church for my taste, but at least one knows what it's about." "Have you read what your pope said yesterday (December 7th, 1965)? 'The religion of God made man has met the religion of man made God…There is no opposition…We, more than anyone, favour the promotion of man.' That's what free-thinkers and humanists have said all along. Shake hands, Rougham, old boy!" "Good show, Edmund! I suppose that now you Catholics have become Protestants, we shall have to become R.C.'s to preserve our independence." And so on and on, day in, day out. It was a cross which the laity but not the clergy had to endure. Can there be a more painful predicament than to have to accept as a compliment what in all the world one most hates? Such was the situation in which the council placed millions of Catholics all over the world. Edmund stuck it until the audience with Paul VI and the disappearance of the crucifix. That was the end.

— Bryan Houghton, Judith's Marriage, 1987, pp. 192–193.