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Catholic Preaching In Victorian England, 1801–1901

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the place of the sermon in the ceremonial rite of the Mass by examining spiritual convictions and the politicization of Catholicism against the backdrop of British history. For over two centuries, the English regarded Catholics as traitors to both church and state, and all things Catholic were regarded with suspicion. Therefore, when a Catholic priest read the Gospel in the vernacular, then clarified doctrinal and moral teachings and commented on the scriptures in a short lecture as part of the celebration of Sunday Mass, everyone who was even slightly aware of the doctrinal conflicts realized that much preaching served to build and reinforce a Catholic identity. Scholars focusing on Roman Catholicism in England have traditionally examined the Reformation, the differences between the Anglican and Catholic traditions, the English Catholic community during the recusant period, the old and new church hierarchy, the Oxford movement, and anti-Catholic sentiment.

Keywords: 1801-19011; Catholic preaching; English Catholic community; Reformation; Sunday Mass; Victorian England



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