Antykatolicyzm „Timesa” i „papieska agresja”
The anti‑Catholicism of „The Times” and the „papal aggression”
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The position of Catholics in the UK has evolved since the days of the Reformation. Criminal law directed against them was abolished in the 18th century, but they gained full political rights as late as 1829. The lack of trust for the Catholics, typical for the modern and nineteenth‑century England, originated from international configuration, and was supported by conviction of the idolatrous nature of their worship, moral corruption of the clergymen, and a sense of civilisation superiority over the Irish, who were the Catholic majority on the British Isles. Fear for the Pope’s aspirations who in popular belief was aiming to gain control over the country through secret network of Jesuit activities, found its vent in a fierce social reaction expressed on the pages of prominent London‑based daily newspaper „The Times”, which occurred due to the restoration of diocesan organization and hierarchy of the Catholic Church in England in November 1850. The outbreak of hostility towards the Catholics was associated not only with a sense of hostility towards the growing number of the followers of this Church or dislike and contempt towards the Irish. Problems of the Church of England and the concerns related to its internal breach were also an important issue. Press discussion was full of highly offensive expressions, inaccuracies, misrepresentations and propaganda. Anti‑Catholic hysteria, which prevailed in „The Times” at the turn of 1850 and 1851, calmed down after the Parliament’s resolution „Act for Preventing the Assumption of Certain Ecclesiastical in Respect of Places in the United Kingdom”. Religious prejudice has not occurred in England since, which does not mean that it disappeared altogether. Stereotypes of the Catholics being backward Papists, essentially alien to the Anglo‑Saxons, remained present in „The Times” throughout the nineteenth century.
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