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Article: If England Had Remained Catholic

April 13, 2010

Peter Stanford / Standpoint:

“Last month, more than 700 people gathered in London’s Royal Geographical Society to debate the motion “England Should Be a Catholic Country Again”. It was, said the Spectator which had organised the event as part of a rolling series, the biggest crowd it had attracted so far. Remarkably, the proposers — headed by a genial but effective Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor — carried the day. Granted, this one result hardly counts as evidence of a major shift in religious sentiment in our officially Anglican but largely secular and sceptical society, but it is arguably a sign that something may be stirring in our
national soul.

For centuries after the Reformation, English Catholics, despite being oppressed by penal taxation, exclusion from public life and the constant threat of mob violence, imprisonment and execution, continued to pray in their Recusant priest-holes for their country’s return to the Roman fold. I am just old enough to remember beseeching God with my Christian Brother teachers in the early 1970s for the restoration of “Mary’s Dowry” as England was known.

Soon after, though, the phrase fell out of use. This was the new age of ecumenism. When Cardinal Basil Hume referred, in an interview in 1993, to “the conversion of England”, he immediately retracted his remarks after they had caused deep offence to Anglicans. The irony was that Hume, of all English Catholic church leaders, had done most to exorcise the ghosts of the Reformation. Yet here in 2010 was Murphy-O’Connor once again arguing for precisely such a conversion, though he still shrank from actually using the word.

The meat of the debate was about restoration, a return to Catholicism…”

Full article here.

See also:
Article: Britain’s Escalating War on Christianity
Report: Rome condemns Elizabeth (the film)

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