An interesting article in The Guardian

I don’t really have any comment to make about this article in The Guardian other than that it is interesting. I thought you might be interested too.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “An interesting article in The Guardian

  1. Interesting comments, too.

    When I started following UK blogs, I was startled by the sheer venom of many of the comments about Catholicism and Catholics.

    I don’t get the same sense of emotional investment in bigotry from antipodean blogs, though some of the same lines appear: ‘sky fairy’, ‘your responsibility to provide evidence,’ ‘Inquisition,’ ‘cannibalism at the Mass’.

    Is it the Reformation? Collective guilt over generations of repression in Ireland?

  2. Matthias

    No because Protestantism has got over it-except for some of the Plymouth brethren and Presbyterian Reformed churches that still harp on about Rome and seem to overlook secularisiation.
    For example Bill Muehelenberg,a proddy regualrly praises the Catholic stance on prolife issues and morals,whilst saying that he personally may not follow some of the beliefs he does seem to have genuine respect for catholics. Although i note that he is trying to a view that social justice is not aprt of the Faith. -Americanisms perhaps.

  3. Peregrinus

    But Bill’s not English.

    I think JP has a point; English culture does have a long-standing (and now much weakened) strain of anti-Catholicism, which is not (except coincidentally) particularly Protestant in character. In looking for an explanation, JP suggests the Reformation and “collective guilt over generations of repression in Ireland”, and those may both be factors. In the interests of balance, though, the historical hostility towards England of the great Catholic powers of Europe – first Spain, then France – and their explicit invocation of religion as a reason for that hostility should not be discounted as a further factor.

    Bill Muehlenberg’s tradition of Christianity, by contrast, experienced repression mostly at the hands of the English Anglican establishment.

    Going back to Reidy’s article though, I’m not sure how much of what he describes is ultimately to be ascribed to Englishness. I don’t think what he describes is a contrast between English anti-Catholicism versus (say) an American version. Rather, it’s the difference between the critique of religion offered by someone who has never really encountered religious faith, engaged with it, experienced it or understood it (e.g. Richard Dawkins) versus that offered someone who has done these things (like Reidy himself, or Terry Eagleton).

  4. adam

    The amazing fact is that Catholicism was existent in Brtain for 600 years before Henry went rampant and destroyed its fabric in the 16 century. It was the foundation and fabric of the society and kings of England, all crowned in Westminster Abbey and since. So it is less than 500 years that the renegade Anglicans have been the main Communion, but in that time Catholics have been expunged and persecuted physically. But it is the anti-catholic media and the general feeling agains the Church that is quite evident in the UK.
    How is that parliament will still not revoke the Act of Succession even though at least three times in recent years MPs have brought in member’s Bills to stop it. But after a First reading the whole issue comes to a halt suddenly. |Why? Must be pressure. At least three prominent members of the Conservative party in last parliament, who were Catholics, were mainly silent and I was told by one of them, that we just have to wait, its all historical.
    But the discrimination against catholics still goes on despite the European Human Rights Act – why, why no challenge in the Courts to this?
    But with 5 million out of 60 million, Catholics are a minority. The anglicans basically are non-believers who couldn’t care less, unless it is a matter of getting into a primary school or having a baptism or marriage or funeral.
    The fact is – Britain is basically an agnostic state that has lost the faith of its primary missionary, Augustine and the courage of its great saints, Edward the Confessor, a’Beckett and Thomas More.
    Sad state of affairs that Benedict is about to visit.

  5. Christine

    The amazing fact is that Catholicism was existent in Brtain for 600 years before Henry went rampant and destroyed its fabric in the 16 century.

    Indeed. Of England it was once said:

    O England great cause thou hast glad for to be
    Compared to the land of promise Sion
    To be called in every realm and region
    The Holy Land, Our Lady’s Dowry …

    The flower of English Catholicism bloomed bountifully in the lives of St. Thomas More and other English luminaries.

    May God grant that someday it blooms again.