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Irish Franciscan Networks At Home And Abroad, 1607–1640

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Chapter Summary

Confessional differences in Ireland tended to harden toward the end of the sixteenth century, obliging Irish laity and clergy to opt for either the state church or the locally available Catholic alternative. The Irish Franciscan reputation for strict Augustinianism and aversion to Jesuit influence followed them to their later foundations in Prague and Rome. Propaganda fide made several attempts to bring order to the chaos of Irish secular-regular relations. Measures were taken on the basis of reports supplied by the Irish hierarchy but also from a variety of other sources, notably the secular clergy and their Roman agents. Although Propaganda did rule on the thorny issues dividing the Irish seculars and regulars largely in the bishops' favour, disputes continued and in some cases worsened. Finally, the disputes of the 1620s and 1630s hardened divisions between and within the ranks of the Irish clergy.

Keywords: confessional differences; Irish clergy; Irish Franciscan reputation; Irish laity; Irish secular-regular relations; sixteenth century



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