...and then Travis is asking if there isn't something "un-English" about the Roman church. I mean, I'm no historian or theologian, but... yes? Branson offers that as an Irishman, he's not particularly concerned with that question, but Travis goes on that he thinks certain ceremonies and rituals of Catholicism can't be pleasing to God. Branson, for once suffering a fool gladly, asks if that means God is displeased by, say, France or Italy, and Travis acidly replies that God isn't as pleased by their worship as by that of the Anglicans. It's kind of hilariously refreshing, if still offensive, to hear a priest not even give lip service to ecumenism, but Edith is clearly unamused as she asks if South America and Portugal have missed the mark too, and soon Mary, Matthew and Isobel are similarly chiming in. Lord Grantham tries to take Travis' side, but even the Dowager Countess abandons him and not to spoil anything, Lord Grantham, but you might want to get used to that this episode. Lord Grantham asks if he's the only one to stand up for Sybil's wishes, but Mary's got the trump card of her last conversation with her sister and pipes up that Sybil declared that she was happy for the child to be baptized Catholic. That's not quite how I remember it, but it's close enough and you can practically see Branson's heart break with joy at hearing this news, although his reaction does trouble me slightly; if it's news to him that Sybil approved, I wonder if he had planned to take Sybil's wishes into account at all in this decision. Lord Grantham declares himself flabbergasted, which is a bridge too far for Cora: "You're always flabbergasted by the unconventional. Not everyone chooses their religion to satisfy Debrett's." Okay, grief may make one tired, but it also apparently geometrically increases the acerbity of one's wit. Lord Grantham, at a loss, looks at his mother, whose side-eye seems to say, "You're going to have to give her that one."
Downstairs, Carson wonders about the loyalty of English Catholics to the crown, to which Mrs. Hughes replies that she's glad he no longer wants them burned at the stake. Heh. Jimmy James pipes up that he doesn't believe in orthodoxy: "A man can choose to be different without it making him a traitor." It's hard to hear over the noise of the silverware, but if you listen carefully, you can hear Thomas' sudden erection hit the underside of the table. In any case, he cheerfully agrees, getting a hilariously remorseful look from Jimmy James in response, and while Anna suggests the talk of such a personal subject can't lead anywhere good, Alfred does mention he's a good Church of England boy, earning him approval from Carson for his heart being in the right place. "I can't say that for everyone under this roof." Thomas twitches, which at least gets his mind off Jimmy James for five seconds.