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Rex Mottram, model for the Catholic laity

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Mar 06, 2009

In Brideshead Revisited, Rex Mottram is determined to become a Catholic-- for reasons that have nothing to do with faith. Actually Rex has no interest whatsoever in questions of faith, and consequently he is quite happy to profess whatever beliefs are required of him. So the priest giving Rex his instruction reports this memorable exchange:

"Then again I asked him: 'Supposing the Pope looked up and saw a cloud and said "It's going to rain," would that be bound to happen?' 'Oh, yes, Father.' 'But supposing it didn't?' He thought a moment and said, 'I suppose it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'"

Rex Mottram would fit nicely into the Boston archdiocese. He would not ask questions. He would accept statements offered by the cardinal-archbishop, no matter how implausible those statements might seem.

(Best of all, Rex would toss folding money into the collection basket. Did I mention that the Annual Appeal begins this weekend?)

Cardinal O'Malley tells us that he has been assured a partnership formed by the Caritas Christi health-care chain will not violate Catholic moral principles-- despite the fact that the partnership will provide for abortions, sterilizations, and the whole panoply of medical services mandated by a state government program. Rex would find the cardinal's statement convincing.


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