The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community


in The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216505
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191711947 | DOI:
The Papist: Outside the Church, Inside the Community

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This chapter focuses on papists. ‘Church papists’ went to church to avoid trouble: they usually kept their heads down, and their opinions to themselves. Catholics who stayed away from church — the recusants (or ‘refusers’) — denied the legitimacy and authority of the Church of England, and so rarely bothered to appear before its courts. When recusants were indicted at quarter sessions or assizes, certified absence was enough to convict them, and their reasons hardly mattered. So historians have found it difficult to write about grass-roots Catholic opinion — what ordinary Catholics thought of their own religion and of the religion of Protestants.

Keywords: papists; recusants; Church papists; Protestants; Catholics

Chapter.  9821 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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