Epilogue: Tilburg, 1633
Epilogue: Although the Dutch Republic conquered new territories on the South around 1630, its rulers found that neither political nor financial inducements sufficed to let their Catholic subjects abandon their allegiance to the Catholic Church. Catholics were deprived of their clergy, their churches and their political elites. Yet Catholic confessionalism continued to exist even without support from the state or the trappings of a complete ecclesiastical hierarchy. In the fifty years since the fall of Antwerp, people in the Southern Netherlands had come to place their attachment to confessional Catholicism at the core of who they thought they were. Catholics were not just the objects of religious policy, they had become the agents of their own counterreformation. By problematizing the relationship between clerics and laypeople, we can gain a better insight in the changing fortunes of the Catholic Church.
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