Part 1 - Not in Front of the Altar
Originally aired on Marrying Out, Sunday 29 May 2011
In pre-multicultural Australia, marrying across the Protestant/ Catholic Divide was consorting wth the enemy for many families. Mixed- religion couples describe being estranged, disinherited and vilified in a society where a quarter of the population (Catholics) was barred from applying for some private sector jobs and Freemasons and Catholics jostled for control of the public sector. The Catholic Church showed its disapproval of the 'impediment of mixed marriage' by relegating such ceremonies to a cheerless setting away from the main altar, out of sight of family and friends. Yet from the 1890s to the 1960s, one in five Australian weddings was a mixed marriage.