Monday, December 04, 2006


Sometimes, when you live in a culture which is not your own, you can be brought up short by a matter to which you have never had cause to give much thought. So it was yesterday when Gina mentioned the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by his wife and son, had visited the Pope. "Yes, I saw it in the paper", said I, thinking she was just making conversation. Then I realised that she found the idea that an Archbishop could be married very, very strange. Not being of a religious disposition, the matter had not greatly exercised my mind and I take married clergy as much for granted as, well, people here assume that their priests will be male and single! [Gina is the third person to have mentioned the visit to me during the week and only yesterday did it dawn on me how very odd Dr Williams's entourage must have seemed here.]

Later I watched Gina prepare the week's food for her son to take back to University [he comes home every weekend] and thought that I was in a foreign place indeed, the sole ambition of British youngsters of a similar age being to get as far away as possible from home and parents. But perhaps Gina's son has it right: home at the weekend to be cosseted and loved, then back to his lodgings laden with mother's beautifully cooked, comforting dishes. That must make his studies seem more palatable! And there is absolutely no doubt that, on the whole, Italians have happier family lives.


Anonymous said...

I think the son coming home is nice. And the mother preparing the food for him to take back is also commendable. In American they are often long miles apart.

Anonymous said...

Wait till Gina's son finds a girlfriend, will he expect someone who cooks like his mum? Or do Italian men help out in the kitchen too.

Anonymous said...

Now I posted a comment on this, asking what would happen when Gina's son found a nice girlfriend who wanted to cook for him, would mamma be happy? I do love that close family life too.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Buongiorno, Ellee. I think Gina will be quite happy to hand the cooking over when the time comes. She has travel plans for herself when the sons get married! I don't think all Italian mothers would be as calm about "letting go" as she is, though!

Ballpoint Wren said...

Originally, priests were allowed to marry, until 1139 when the Church decreed all priests' marriages invalid. It was a mass annullment!

As I remember, the reasons for doing it were strictly monetary: the church was losing property when priests passed it down to their children. If the marriages were prohibited, the church would keep the properties.

I think priests should be allowed to marry. Go back to the way it was!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks for the informative comment. Bonnie. I can see both sides of the issue: a married priest, it could be argued, is more likely to understand the marital problems of his flock and is unlikely to be tempted in some of the inappropriate sexual ways that make the news. But I can also see the argument for having a priest dedicated only to his god and his work.


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