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Papist PatriotsThe Making of an American Catholic Identity$
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Maura Jane Farrelly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199757718

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757718.001.0001

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The English Origins of American Catholicism

The English Origins of American Catholicism

(p.20) 1 The English Origins of American Catholicism
Papist Patriots

Maura Jane Farrelly

Oxford University Press

The vast majority of Catholics living in Maryland at the time of the American Revolution were of English ancestry. The Catholic experience in early-modern England, therefore, laid the foundation for the first distinctly “American” Catholic identity. This chapter explains how English Catholics drew upon their wealth, education, personal experiences with Protestantism, and the empowered, “seigneurial” relationship that they had with their clergy to reconcile their religious and national identities. It notes that lay and clerical Catholics alike became comfortable with a certain degree of rebelliousness, because rebellion was a necessary and unavoidable component of the reconciliation they sought. Some, such as the Jesuits, rebelled more strongly against the king; others, such as lay schismatics and secular clergy, rebelled more strongly against the Catholic Church. None behaved like the blindly obsequious automatons that Protestants made Catholics out to be.

Keywords:   Jesuits, secular clergy, schismatics, seigneurial Catholicism, early-modern England, Maryland, rebellion, wealth

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