Delia Tells Fr. McShane That Roger Won't Let Her Go
(May 1976)

(Delia is freaking out, and has called Fr. McShane and asked him to come see her.)

DELIA: Father, you told me that I should stop seeing this other man, and I've tried. Since I've spoken to you, I tried three or four different times. Do you remember when I said to you that I was afraid that he would never let me go?

Fr. McSHANE: Mmm-hmm.

DELIA: Well, I was right. He said that he would never give me up. He said he doesn't care if Frank knows and if I break up with him, he's gonna tell Frank. He says he loves me and he needs me and nothing else matters.

Fr. McSHANE: Delia! This is beginning to sound more like blackmail than love.

DELIA: (shaking her head) Oh, no, no, no. See, he doesn't understand the way I feel about Frank and the family. But I know he loves me, and I know he wants to see me happy.

Fr. McSHANE: Have you explained to him that a good marriage to Frank will make you happier than anything else?

DELIA: I've tried! See, I've tried every way that I know how. Do you know what he does? He says, "If you like marriage so much, I'll marry you." That's what he said. He wants to take full responsibility for me and Little John.

Fr. McSHANE: He actually expects you to divorce Frank, marry him, and bring Frank's child with you?

DELIA: I don't know. See, he said he would settle for us meeting whenever we can, same as before. (gets up) Father, he's doing all these crazy things to get us caught! (She takes the necklace Roger gave her out of her purse.) Father, I'm so scared. (She opens the box the necklace is in and shows it to the Father.) He gave me this.

(Fr. McShane puts up his hand in frustration and turns away.)

DELIA: He delivered it to the bar, to Johnny. Now, I know this is worth a lot of money! And I tried to give it back to him and he wouldn't take it back. I can't wear it, I can't leave it anywhere around the house; someone's gonna find it! So I keep this in my purse and it's like a time bomb.

Fr. McSHANE: If he was at all sensitive to your feelings, he must know the agony he's putting you through!

DELIA: (on the brink of tears) These flowers. (She goes over to the flowers Roger sent.) He sent these flowers. And Frank was here. And I was so terrified because Frank was suspicious of something so I made up this crazy story about this guy in my cooking class who had a crush on me. (desperately) Father, there is no cooking class! There's never been a cooking class! All the time I've been taking lessons I've been with Roger.

Fr. McSHANE: Roger? Roger Coleridge?

(Delia, regretting her slip, nods painfully. The Father puts his hand on his head in frustration.)

Fr. McSHANE: No!

DELIA: I know. I know, you're saying, "Roger of all people. All the things he did to Frank." But he's not a bad person, he's a good person!

Fr. McSHANE: (getting up) Delia, I'm not interested in hearing a defense of Roger Coleridge. What I'm interested in right now is your feelings about your marriage. Are you still hopeful?

DELIA: Yes. See, things have been better. Frank and I seem to love each other and like each other, more and more.

Fr. McSHANE: Alright. Now tell me honestly, do you have any desire whatsoever to leave Frank for Roger?

DELIA: Sometimes, I like to dream about it. (She seems to close down.) No, I want what I've always wanted. I want to be a Ryan. I want to be with this family. I want to stay married. I want to be happy!

Fr. McSHANE: Is there any chance you could tell Frank the truth and trust him to understand?

DELIA: (shakes her head furiously) No, Father, not about Roger and me! No, never, never!

Fr. McSHANE: And so Roger intends to send you gift after gift until you agree to see him, or until someone finds out about your affair.

DELIA: (pauses) Father, somebody knows. Jill saw us together.

(She starts crying and the Father goes over to her.)

Fr. McSHANE: Delia!

DELIA: Father, please don't look at me that way! I know it's an ugly and disgusting mess! (literally pleads with him) But you're the only person that I can talk to about this! There's nobody else! (in tears) I told you everything. I told you about how Frank fell, all the bad things, but Father, I can do good! I really tried to save the marriage! I tried to be loving and forgiving and patient, and when I was strong, it was because of you! And if you don't help me, I don't know what I'm gonna do! (breaks down) I'm gonna lose everything that I have!

Fr. McSHANE: I'll do anything for you I possibly can.

DELIA: (whispers) Thank you, Father.

Fr. McSHANE: Would you like me to speak to Roger?

DELIA: Oh, he'll be so shocked that I told you!

Fr. McSHANE: Perhaps he needs a little shock!

DELIA: Maybe he would listen to you.

Fr. McSHANE: It's worth a try. I'll have a word with him. Today, if he's free.

DELIA: I'm so grateful to you! See, I know if I can settle this with Roger, my marriage is gonna be fine! It's gonna be better than ever!

(Father McShane gets an expression on his face as though he can't quite believe anything he's just heard. Later that day, Roger is in his apartment making himself a drink, humming, when the doorbell rings. He answers it. It is Father McShane.)

ROGER: Well, hello, Father.

Fr. McSHANE: Good afternoon, Roger. They told me at the hospital that you might be here. Do you have a moment?

ROGER: Well, uh, sure, come on in. Have a seat, please. (Roger closes the door and the Father sits down.) Listen, is there anything I can get you? I just made myself a medulla.

Fr. McSHANE: Oh, thanks anyway. But please, you go ahead with your drink.

ROGER: (smiles) If you don't mind, I'll do just that.

(Roger sits down.)

Fr. McSHANE: I've wanted to come by to tell you in person about Ed. He was a fine man.

ROGER: (nods) I know. Thank you. I only hope I can live up to him.

Fr. McSHANE: (nods) Of course. Roger, I hope you won't think that I'm intruding. In one sense, this is none of my business. But, as a friend and an admirer of your father - and because the other person involved has taken me into her confidence, because I've advised her in the past and she's asked my help - this visit may be justified. I must talk to you about Delia Ryan.

ROGER: (stunned, but quickly tries to play innocent) Delia Ryan? I'm afraid I don't understand.

Fr. McSHANE: Delia is my parishioner. She's also my friend. She's come to me frequently during the past year for whatever counsel I could give. Just at the moment, she's a very unhappy girl?

ROGER: But isn't that between you and Delia? I mean, I'm not a Catholic...

Fr. McSHANE: She's asked me to speak to you on her behalf.

ROGER: She has?

Fr. McSHANE: Yes. She's told me about your (pause) situation.

ROGER: I beg your pardon?

Fr. McSHANE: She's told me that you've been lovers.

(The camera pans in on Roger's shock.)

ROGER: Has she also told you, Father, that what's happened between us has been more than a casual affair? I love her very much.

Fr. McSHANE: So she's given me to understand. But apparently that's become a source of considerable distress to her.

ROGER: I wish it weren't. I want to marry her.

Fr. McSHANE: Yes, well, Roger, that's where the situation seems to be getting out of hand. How can you talk of marrying Delia when you know how desperately she wants to return to her own marriage and make it work?

ROGER: That's what Delia thinks she wants!

Fr. McSHANE: I don't believe I have to tell you that according to our faith, Delia's marriage is a sacrament which prohibits any other marriage while Frank is alive.

ROGER: But there are Catholics who have been divorced.

Fr. McSHANE: But they do not remain within the church. Now Roger, I don't believe that you and I should get into a theological discussion. What's important here is you and Delia. Burdened as we all are by human frailty, it's understandable how the two of you came to make such a mistake!

ROGER: Look, Father, I really don't want to talk to you about this. You're going to give me a lecture on morality that I just don't want to hear.

Fr. McSHANE: I'm going to talk to you about Delia and what she wants. If you love her as you say you do, you will listen.

ROGER: But she doesn't know what she wants! She's bright and warm and wonderful and funny, but she doesn't want anything because it's never occurred to her that she's entitled to anything!

Fr. McSHANE: I think Delia knows very well what she wants.

ROGER: No she doesn't! She's never had anything, she's never gone anywhere! She can't see past Johnny Ryan's bar in one direction and the Hudson River in the other.

Fr. McSHANE: Now, in my opinion, there is more to it than that.

ROGER: That's why she's afraid to leave the Ryans, because they represent the only security she's ever known. Maeve started mothering her when she was about six, her brother grew up with the Ryans, she went with Pat in school and later with Frank. Father, she doesn't even know what the outside world is like!

Fr. McSHANE: Perhaps because she doesn't want to know about that outside world, Roger. Perhaps it's because the structure and security provided by a large, loving family is what she does want!

ROGER: She's capable of so much more! I want to give her that. In bed at night I think about everything that I can give her, because of what my father left me. Right now, Delia's like a little bird that's had her wings clipped. She can't fly. (smiles) And I'm going to change all that.

Fr. McSHANE: She has to make those choices for herself!

ROGER: No, I'm going to make them for her! Everyone wants Delia to conform to a mold. Look, they want her to live by the rules set down by the Ryans; I want to take her away from all that. I want her to live in furs and silk and crystal. I want to show her Paris and London and Rome. I want to teach her to fly!

Fr. McSHANE: It sounds very glamorous, the life you're talking about; amusing; expensive, certainly. But in my opinion, it doesn't compare to the love and long-term sense of purpose in her present life with Frank and her baby and Maeve and Johnny!

ROGER: I'm concerned about her future too, Father.

Fr. McSHANE: Roger, her future is not with you!

ROGER: Why not? Because she has a husband who doesn't love her, who had his own affair for three years?

Fr. McSHANE: Now, that is over! Frank has given up Jill for Delia!

ROGER: Frank gave up Jill for his political career! Now, if Frank wants to give up the woman he loves for material things, for a chance to run for Congress, that's alright. But Father, I'm not going to give up the woman I love for anything! Because when we're together, I know it's right. It's right for me, and it's right for her.

(The scene ends with Father McShane glaring at Roger.)

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