måndag 25 juni 2012

British anti-Catholicism visceral as ever

British anti-Catholicism is as visceral as it ever was. An article by Eamonn Duffy has just demonstrated this nicely. Duffy, Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge, has been studying primary sources. They reveal a very different picture from the popular view of the pre-Reformation Catholic Church as irremediably decadent, corrupt and oppressive. Perhaps I am wrong but decadent, corrupt and oppressive organisations do not produce architectural masterpieces such as King's College Chapel, nor musical masterpieces such as the works of Byrd and Tallis.

Duffy has evidently pressed a button here. The torrent of visceral anti-Catholicism released shows that the emotion has as much grip on the conservative right as on the "progressive" left, where it turns up regularly in comments on the Guardian's web site.

The British founding myth is alive and kicking.

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