John Tittensor


In the wooden house next door hve the O'Reilly brothers Frank and Jim, together with Jim's wife Seal. Frank, the older, is short, rotund, shinyfaced; a devout Catholic, he has achieved, at the age of fifty or so, the distinction of having converted a Baptist friend to the True Faith. Over a cup of tea in the boy's house Harry the ex-Baptist, a darkly handsome young ambulance man, relates to a soberly sympathetic audience how his family has all but rejected him, accusing him bitterly of allowing his mind to be warped by Roman Catholic propaganda. Each of his listeners without exception wishes he or she could have been the one to bring this mild but determined soul into the Church; and each simultaneously longs to be Harry, to be in the convert's position of affirming a rock-solid faith in the face of the jibes of unbelievers. They click their tongues in muted, angry solidarity each time they hear of themselves being referred to as 'Roman' Catholics; these people are Catholics pure and simple and as they so regularly assert the term 'Catholic', since it means 'universal', cannot in all commonsense be qualified and reduced by the word 'Roman'.



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