16 AUGUST 1935, Page 18

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—It is a pity your correspondent Mr. Percy Maryon- Wilson, hurrying to " defend " the Church in its projected confusion, should himself trip into misstatements. He states

that the essence of Christian marriage is the consent of the Parties : I deny this, supported by the fact that it is clearly recognized that the essence of Christian marriage is the physical union of the consenting parties, for, if their physical condition be such that the completed union cannot take place and the bride remains virgo intacta, no Christian sect considers the marriage to have taken place, in spite of the " I will," and all permit the recognition of this in the nullity of the marriage.

Contrariwise, if physical union haS taken place, the marriage is completed and can only be severed by divorce. The verbal distinction represents a major physiological one not to be confused by the dust your correspondent tries to throw irt your readers' eyes.

• To say, as he does, " Dr. Stopes prefers divorce to ". gratuitously displays his ignoranee of my mentality. ' prefer the word divorce to be used for what is physiologically a divorce ; I equally prefer the word nullity to • be used..fer a putative marriage which has proved null and void.

The Church gains nothing, but tends to lose the 'respect of the educated, if her supporters try juggling • with the terminology of scientific facts.—I remain, Sir, ydur obedient

servant, MARIE C. STOPRS, Norbury Park, near Dorking, Surrey.