MovieChat Forums > Newsfront (1978) Discussion > 'Well, we're all Catholics.'

'Well, we're all Catholics.'


I need some help with the part of the film where Len's and Fay's friends and family gather at their house to help in the building of a nursery for the child they're expecting. My confusion begins shortly after a sudden rain shower forces everyone inside and into the kitchen where they continue the party. The talk turns to the soon-to-be-born baby, and Amy jokes that the narrow interval between Len and Fay's wedding and Fay's pregnancy is "what happens when you marry a good Catholic."

To this, Fay says, "Well, we're all Catholics, Amy. Everyone in this room's a Catholic. Len and I are what you'd call Roman Catholic."

The kitchen then goes quiet and everyone looks uncomfortable.

Obviously an insult was delivered here, but I can't figure out what it was.

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She meant, I think, that originally all Christians were Catholics. However over the years different factions split off to form their own churches, such as Church of England or Methodists. All still Christians though and therefore all still Catholics.

As for the insult bit. Perhaps she was implying that Roman Catholicism is the original and true Catholic religion.

I saw this film when I was a film student and loved it.

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I don't think the silence was particularly out of offence but rather an awkward tension that falls upon any social gathering when someone bangs on about religion.

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It's referring to contraception.

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It's referring to contraception.


Or lack thereof!

Certainly Len (and possibly Fay) was from an Irish-Catholic background and unlikely to practise any form of contraception as per the Church's teaching.

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Correct. They were playing what was known as "Vatican Roulette".

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Yes, officially known as "The Rhythm Method".

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I have read that the female germ cell, the zygote or egg, lives for about 72 hours after release from the ovary. It will spend about 48 hours of that time travelling down the fallopian tube. This is the only time during which it is available to be fertilized by the male germ cell, the sperm. The sperm lives for 48 to 72 hours, so they can sit in the fallopian tube for up to three days looking for the zygote. So, if we are optimistic there are a maximum of three days during each menstrual cycle during which a woman may get pregnant. Rounding 3/28 off to 10 percent gives us a one in ten chance of the female getting pregnant.

That is, if father and mother (biologically) are of age and having sex randomly. If they are both underage and have sex in the back seat of a sedan at a drive-in, the female has 100 percent chance of getting pregnant.

DON"T HAVE SEX UNDER THE DASHBOARD LIGHT.

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The "pregnant pause" may not have had anything to do with an insult. The awkwardness may have arisen because most of those present recognized that the "good Catholic" reference was intended to distract or discourage people from counting the time of the pregnancy too closely.

I remember when my wife maid a reference to her younger sister. She said something to the effect of how marvelous it was that the baby was fully developed in spite of being born after less than eight months of gestation, it having been well under thirty weeks between the wedding and the birth. I looked at her hard, but she showed no indication that she meant to be sarcastic or otherwise humorous. It was then that I understood why the seemingly endless engagement had suddenly been curtailed and the wedding scheduled.

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According to strict Catholic theology, all Christians are Catholic. Some may sin by refusing to recognise the legitimacy or authority of the church, but they still belong to it and are subject to it. Fay's comment marks her as a super-hard core catholic, really fundamentalist. This is why everyone looks uncomfortable.

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