From Dinwoodie Street to Ramsey Street

From Dinwoodie Street to Ramsey Street

Let it be known from the outset that I don’t watch Neighbours, and it was something of a trial to have it playing in a background window as I battled through a pile of marriage-related paperwork this afternoon.

I resolutely endured bad television however, in the name of research. It all sprang from this message, which appeared on my Facebook wall:

For those among my readers who don’t watch Neighbours (well done!), I’ll get you up to speed.

Vanessa’s mother Francesca — a good ol’ Italian traditionalist — is upset because Vanessa is unwed and pregnant. Francesca threatens to disinherit Vanessa, unless she marries Lucas, the child’s father. Vanessa doesn’t love Lucas — it was a one night stand — but she is falling in love with Rhys, who unbeknownst to her is contemplating a marriage proposal. Lucas, meanwhile, initially rejected mother and child, but he has has since fallen in love with Vanessa, but lacks the courage to tell her.

(Side-note: Can you bear it? My fingers are bleeding, just from typing this stuff!)

The hapless Fr Corrigan — who is, apparently, the parish priest of Erinsborough — is first mentioned in the scene starting at 5:33:

I call Fr Corrigan hapless because, just for starters, he is willing to assist at a shot gun wedding. If I’m preparing a pregnant couple for marriage, and they decided to marry only after they became pregnant, I would insist the couple wait until after the child was born! We should never make major decisions in the wake of unexpected events. Moreover, in the discernment of spirits, an impatient sense of urgency is worthy of suspicion. The Holy Spirit sows peace and patience, even in the midst of urgency.

But much worse, before even meeting with the couple, Fr Corrigan says he “might be able to fit them into the side chapel in the next few weeks!” Perhaps the parish priest of Erinsborough doesn’t know his legal obligations to the Commonwealth. The associate priest of Hamilton does:

Section 42 of the Marriage Act 1961 requires the parties to an intended marriage to give the authorised celebrant at least one month’s written notice prior to the solemnisation of the marriage. This notice is known as the Notice of Intended Marriage.

Fr Corrigan gets another mention in the following scene starting at 13:34, wherein he forever loses my respect:

After repeated contact with the bride’s mother, but not even a phone conversation with the bride and groom, Fr Corrigan has their wedding booked in “at the end of the month.”

Now I have no problems marrying a couple who are not in love each other. Freely exchanged consent, not romance, is the indispensable requirement in marriage. Romantic love helps, but it can come or go — and often does. History is full of arranged marriages which started out loveless, but became great romances. And I can only presume “the spark” dies out in many conventional marriages which remain steadfast, and which may again become passionately romantic later.

So I would not refuse to marry Vanessa and Lucas simply because Vanessa doesn’t love Lucas. I would refuse to marry them because Lucas isn’t honest with Vanessa, and Vanessa has not presented herself freely and without reservation. Their marriage is built on lies and coercion, which automatically invalidates it.

But apart from all that, I would never agree to marry a couple whom I haven’t even met! Maybe TV-land Fr Corrigan has other things on his plate, but really, there’s no excuse for that sort of naivety. Maybe he should learn to manage his time better. And maybe he needs to become more alert to the ways of the world.

Occasionally tuning into a soap opera like Neighbours might help.

  • McCormack

    Methinks this not be a coincidence… Someone in the production team possibly been to a recent ordination or two? Hmm…

    • I don’t know about that McCormack. This is in fact the second time — to my knowledge — that my fictional namesake has made an appearance. Before his assignment to Erinsborough, it seems Fr Corrigan was parish priest at Sacred Heart, Great Snoring, in the United Kingdom. Fr Corrigan is mentioned twice in posts by “guest blogger, The Rev’d Humphrey Blytherington” (in fact a fictional Anglican vicar created by Fr Longenecker for his Standing on my head blog):

      In “The Vicar on Personal Ordinariates,” the vicar gets a bit defensive about the approaching papal visit to the UK.

      All of us know that the Church of England is Catholic already. We’re Catholic but reformed. King Henry VIII and his friend Cromwell saw that the monasteries were corrupt and the fat old monks needed to get their act together so they cleaned things up a bit, that’s all, why I’m just as much a Catholic priest as Fr. Corrigan down at Sacred Heart. Why should he think that he’s better than me? That’s a fair question isn’t it?

      A few months later, Fr Corrigan is again mentioned. This time, the vicar is speaking to his mates at the pub about proposed legislation which will force the Catholic Church to ordain women:

      I expect they’ll be just as stubborn this time around. Lavinia and Georgie were quite firm about it. Said the Roman Catholics had better get with it or go to jail. Georgie said she wouldn’t mind putting Father Corrigan on the rack and watch him squirm, and Lavinia said she already had manacles and a whip and wouldn’t mind using them. Georgie started giggling at this point and before long they were falling about laughing. I must admit, by this time we’d all had a few jars, so I’m sure they were only joshing.

  • Check out what I wrote on June the 23rd.
    Does anyone watch Home And Away and Family Ties?
    Check Out Vote early Vote often.
    Neighbours mentioned the town of Bingerra near Colac last week too.

    • Simon Hogan

      Here are some tips for tomorrow at Horsham Cup Day and Seymour Cup
      Horsham Cup My tips at Magic Me and Moulde.
      Other tips for Horsham are
      Race 2 No4. King Cuddler
      Race4 No2 and 17.
      Race8 No11. Last Outlaw. Some good jockes come from Horsham including Dean Yentall who has ridden plenty of winners during the years all over Victoria.
      Seymour
      Race1.No.4 Host of the Party
      Race2. 5Chase the Lord.
      Race3. My numbers are 6,12 and 18.
      Race4 My numers are 3 and 6.
      Race5.1 Simmo, 3. Sandler and 8. Nate
      Race6 No7. Gold Lining.
      Race7 Seymour Cup
      8. Mignight Glory.

      Race8. No5 Quartebar
      Race9. My numbers are 2,5 and 10. I go for number 5. King Cobweb if you what just to back one but the horses have good chance to too.
      I haven’t been to Horsham or Seymour. I have some tips for Geelong on Wednesday and Moonee Valley on Saturday and Hamilton Cup on Sunday week. Happy Punting to all!

  • Florence

    Fr John, I have not watched Neighbours for a very long time. I admire your patience of watching Neighbours and then commenting on the same. All I can say is, Ha! Ha! It is good to have you back!

  • Joel

    The lawyer bloke reminded me of Fr Andrew Keswick.

  • Simon Hogan

    Well the Geelong Cup was won by Gatewood should be hard to beat in the Melbourne Cup!
    Tomorrow we having racing at Ballarat
    Race1 No5 Lounge
    Race2 No.11 Sing of Joy
    Race 3 No 15 Shivers and Number 8 Skyrocket.
    Race4 No3 Chitty Bang Bang
    Race5 No 1,5 and 8.
    Race7 No7 Princess Victoria.
    Race 8 No6 Littleriver Ruby.
    Good luck if your having a bet tomorrow and save little for the weekend.

  • Simon Hogan

    Well I am back to give more racing tips
    Tonight at Moonee Valley
    Get on Hot Spin, Satin Shoes and Verification.
    My numbers for toninght in order are
    4,3,4,6,2,9,12 and 10. There horse calle Vactian I haven’t pick it might find it a bit short but I could be wrong.
    Tomorrow at Moonee Valley or you called it the Catheral of the track?
    My cox plate numbers are 1.4 and 8 and 2,6 ,12,13 you should boxed them and should get some back back!
    Race 1 No13. Pinova
    Race2 No4 Winter King
    Race3.2 Shewan
    Race 4 No2 and 5.
    Race5.No2 Viking Star
    Race6.My numbers are 2,4 and 9.
    Race7. No4 Illo trained by Bart Cummings
    Race 8 is the Cox Plate I put my numbers earlier.
    Race9 My numbers are 1,4 and 9.

    Now for Sunday at Sale follow Jason Benbow he got good rides and rides By the Way in the Cup.
    At Hamilton Cup the top weight Streaky Fella should be hard to beat.
    Race1 No4 Solace
    Race2 No8
    Race5 No1 and 15
    Race7No5 and 14. Number five is Royal Katsu. Peter Lafferty trains this horse he is the number trainer Liebig St in Warrnambool. His dad had horse in the 1980’s that won four Hamilton Cups in row. Royal Katsu has famous part owner called Brian Callghans who runs Callghans Motors in Warrnambool and around Victoria. They are sponsoring the race race of the day my numbers are
    3,8 and 15. Number 15 is called Lake View well Hamilton has got a lake and think it is man made!
    Have a great day at Royal Hamilton. I be playing in the golf club championships this weekend I try see some of the races or just read the restults in the paper. Of course the Warrnambool Show is on this weekend too I won’t be going but there will be Fireworks tomorrow night!
    Happy Punting or Happy Weekend!

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