Catholic Church in England and Wales
The Catholic Church in England and Wales (Latin: Ecclesia Catholica in Anglia et Cambria) (Welsh: Yr Eglwys Gatholig yng Nghymru a Lloegr) is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope. It traces its history to the apostles through Catholic Christendom, the Western Latin Church, particularized and recorded in Roman Britain as far back as the 1st century. Later, in the 6th century, the church was judicially bonded to the Apostolic See of Rome, when Pope Gregory the Great through his Benedictine and Roman missionary, Augustine of Canterbury, established a direct link from the Kingdom of Kent to the Holy See in 597 AD. This ancient link (to Rome) to which Irenaeus says "every church" should "resort" on account of its "preeminent authority," has enriched the inter-church identity of the English Catholic Church, not only across Britain and continental Europe but also and especially globally within what is sometimes referred to as the "Catholic Communion of Churches".
Catholic Church in England and Wales
|Apostolic Nuncio||Edward Joseph Adams|
|Region||England and Wales|
|Language||English, Welsh, Latin|
|Founder||St. Augustine of Canterbury|
|Origin||c. 200s: Christianity in Roman Britain|
c. 500s: Anglo-Saxon Christianity
|Separations||Church of England (1534/1559)|
|Members||5.2 million (2009)|
|Official website||Official Website|
Today the English Catholic Church regards Augustine as one of its regional founders, bonding the present head of the Catholic Church in England directly to Pope Gregory's modern day successor, Pope Francis. This unbroken line of history, going back to Augustine, is symbolised in the bestowal of the pallium, a papal liturgical vestment (a woollen cloak) on the Catholic successor to St Augustine, the Archbishop of Westminster.
To highlight this episcopal and historic continuity, the Archdiocese of Westminster uses the installation rites of pre-Reformation Catholic archbishops of Canterbury and earlier archbishops of Westminster for the installation of each new Archbishop of Westminster. Thus, just as Pope Gregory conferred the pallium or woollen cloak on St Augustine, Pope Francis (in that corresponding ancient practice) conferred the same symbol of unity on the current head of the Catholic Church in England, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, when he took office.
Along with the 22 Latin Rite dioceses, there are two dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Church: the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Holy Family of London and the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Great Britain.
At the 2001 United Kingdom census, there were 4.2 million Catholics in England and Wales, some 8% of the population. One hundred years earlier, in 1901, they represented only 4.8% of the population. In 1981, 8.7% of the population of England and Wales were Catholic. In 2009, an Ipsos Mori poll found that 9.6%, or 5.2 million persons, were Catholic in England and Wales. Sizable populations include North West England, where one in five is Catholic, a result of large-scale Irish migration in the nineteenth century as well as the high number of English recusants in Lancashire.
Roman Britons and early Christianity
Much of Great Britain was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 43 AD, after Claudius led the Roman conquest of Britain, conquering lands inhabited by Celtic Britons. The indigenous religious traditions of the Britons under their priests the Druids were suppressed; most notably Gaius Suetonius Paulinus launched an attack on Ynys Môn in 60 AD and destroyed the shrine and sacred groves there. In the years following this, Roman influence saw the importation of several religious cults into Britain, including Roman mythology, Mithraism and the imperial cult. One of these sects, then disapproved by the Roman authorities, was the Levantine-originated religion of Christianity. While it is unclear exactly how it arrived, the earliest British figures considered saints by the Christians are St. Alban followed by Ss Julius and Aaron, all in the 3rd century.
Eventually, the position of the Roman authorities on Christianity moved from hostility to toleration with the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, and then enforcement as state religion following the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, becoming a key component of Romano-British culture and society. Records note that Romano-British bishops, such as Restitutus, attended the Council of Arles in 314, which confirmed the theological findings of an earlier convocation held in Rome (the Council of Rome) in 313. The Roman departure from Britain in the following century and the subsequent Germanic invasions sharply decreased contact between Britain and Continental Europe. Christianity, however, continued to flourish in the Brittonic areas of Great Britain. During this period certain practices and traditions took hold in Britain and in Ireland that are collectively known as Celtic Christianity. Distinct features of Celtic Christianity include a unique monastic tonsure and calculations for the date of Easter. Regardless of these differences, historians do not consider this Celtic or British Christianity a distinct church separate from general Western European Christianity.
Conversion of the Anglo-Saxons
In 597, Pope Gregory I sent Augustine of Canterbury and 40 missionaries from Rome to evangelise the Anglo-Saxons, a process completed by the 7th century. The Gregorian mission, as it is known, is of particular interest in the Catholic Church as it was the first official Papal mission to found a church. With the help of Christians already residing in Kent, Augustine established an archbishopric in Canterbury, the old capital of Kent, and, having received the pallium earlier (linking his new diocese to Rome), became the first in the series of Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury, four of whom (Laurence, Mellitus, Justus and Honorius) were part of the original band of Benedictine missionaries. (The last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole, who died in 1558.) During this time of mission, Rome pursued greater unity with the local church in Britain, particularly on the question of dating Easter. Columbanus, his fellow countryman and churchman, had asked for a papal judgement on the Easter question as did abbots and bishops of Ireland. Later, in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Bede explained the reasons for the discrepancy: "He [Columba] left successors distinguished for great charity, Divine love, and strict attention to the rules of discipline following indeed uncertain cycles in the computation of the great festival of Easter, because far away as they were out of the world, no one had supplied them with the synodal decrees relating to the Paschal observance." A series of synods were held to resolve the matter, culminating with the Synod of Whitby in 644. The missionaries also introduced the Rule of Benedict, the continental rule, to Anglo-Saxon monasteries in England. Wilfrid, a Benedictine consecrated Archbishop of York (in 664), was particularly skilled in promoting the Benedictine Rule. Over time, the Benedictine continental rule became grafted upon the monasteries and parishes of England, drawing them closer to the Continent and Rome. As a result, the pope was often called upon to intervene in quarrels, affirm monarchs, and decide jurisdictions. In 787, for example, Pope Adrian I elevated Lichfield to an archdiocese and appointed Hygeberht its first archbishop. Later, in 808, Pope Leo III helped restore King Eardwulf of Northumbria to his throne; and in 859, Pope Leo IV confirmed and anointed Alfred the Great king, according to Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Individual Benedictines seemed to play an important role throughout this period. For example, before Benedictine monk St. Dunstan was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 960, Pope John XII had him appointed legate, commissioning him (along with Ethelwold and Oswald) to restore discipline in the existing monasteries of England, many of which were destroyed by Danish invaders.
Norman Conquest of England and Wales
Control of the English Church passed from the Anglo-Saxons to the Normans following the Norman conquest of England. The two clerics most prominently associated with this process were the continental-born Lanfranc and Anselm, both Benedictines. Anselm later became a Doctor of the Church. A century later, Pope Innocent III had to confirm the primacy of Canterbury over four Welsh churches for many reasons, but primarily to sustain the importance of the Gregorian foundation of Augustine's mission.
During mediaeval times, England and Wales were part of western Christendom. During this period, monasteries and convents, such as those at Shaftesbury and Shrewsbury, were prominent features of society providing lodging, hospitals and education. Likewise, schools like Oxford University and Cambridge University were important. Members of religious orders, notably the Dominicans and Franciscans, settled in both schools and maintained houses for students. Clerics like Archbishop Walter de Merton founded Merton College at Oxford and three different popes – Gregory IX, Nicholas IV, and John XXII – gave Cambridge the legal protection and status to compete with other European medieval universities.
Pilgrimage was a prominent feature of mediaeval Catholicism, and England and Wales were amply provided with many popular sites of pilgrimage. The village of Walsingham in Norfolk became an important shrine after a noblewoman named Richeldis de Faverches experienced a reputed vision of the Virgin Mary in 1061 asking her to build a replica of the Holy House at Nazareth. Some of the other holiest shrines were those at Holywell in Wales which commemorated St Winefride and at Westminster Abbey to Edward the Confessor. In 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his cathedral by followers of King Henry II and was quickly canonised as a martyr for the faith. This resulted in Canterbury Cathedral attracting international pilgrimage and inspired the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
An Englishman, Nicholas Breakspear, became Pope Adrian IV, reigning from 1154 to 1159. Fifty-six years later, Cardinal Stephen Langton, the first of English cardinals and later Archbishop of Canterbury (1208–28), became a pivotal figure in the dispute between King John and Pope Innocent III. This critical situation led to the signing and later promulgation of the Magna Charta in 1215, which, among other things, insisted that the English church shall be free of ecclesiastical appointments fixed by the king.
Tudor period and Catholic resistance
The dynamics of the pre-Reformation bond between the Catholic Church in England and the Apostolic See remained in effect for nearly a thousand years. That is, there was no doctrinal difference between the faith of the English and the rest of Catholic Christendom, especially after calculating the date of Easter at the Council of Whitby in 667 and formalizing other customs according to the See of Rome. The designation "English Church" (Ecclesia Anglicana in Latin) was made, but always in the sense of the term as indicating that it was part of the one Catholic Church in communion with the Pope that was localised in England. Other regions of the church were localised in Scotland (Ecclesia Scotticana), France (Ecclesia Gallicana), Spain (Ecclesia Hispanica), etc. These regional cognomens or designations were commonly used in Rome by staff or officials to identify a locality of the universal church but never to imply any breach with the Holy See.
In 1534, however, during the reign of King Henry VIII, the church, through a series of legislative acts between 1533 and 1536, became independent of the Holy See for a period as a national church with Henry declaring himself Supreme Head. This breach was in response to the Pope's refusal to annul Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Although Henry did not himself accept Protestant innovations in doctrine or liturgy, he nevertheless extended toleration, and even promotion, to clergy with Protestant sympathies in return for support for his break with Rome. On the other hand, failure to accept this break, particularly by prominent persons in church and state, was regarded by Henry as treason, resulting in the execution of Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, among others. The See of Rome Act 1536 enforced the separation from Rome, while the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536 and Bigod's Rebellion of 1537, risings in the North against the religious changes, were bloodily repressed. All through 1536–41 Henry VIII engaged in a large-scale dissolution of the Monasteries, which controlled most of the wealth of the church and much of the richest land. He disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided pensions for the former residents. He did not turn these properties over to his national Church of England. Instead they were sold, mostly to pay for the wars. The historian G. W. Bernard argues that the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. One adult man in fifty was in religious orders. In the Catholic narrative, Henry's action was sacrilegious, a national violation of things consecrated to God, and evil. Even today, Henry's act is still considered controversial. Anglicans like Giles Fraser have noted that the property "was stolen" from the Roman Catholic Church and that "this theft of land is the really dirty stuff – the original sin of the Church of England." Nevertheless, Henry maintained a strong preference for traditional Catholic practices and, during his reign, Protestant reformers were unable to make many changes to the practices of his national church, the Church of England. Indeed, this part of Henry's reign saw the trial for heresy of Protestants as well as Catholics who resisted his policies.
The 1547 to 1553 reign of the boy King Edward VI saw the Church of England become more influenced by Protestantism in its faith and worship, with the Latin Mass replaced by the (English) Book of Common Prayer, representational art and statues in church buildings destroyed, and Catholic practices which had survived during Henry's reign, for instance the public saying of prayers to the Virgin Mary such as the Salve Regina, ended. In 1549 the Western Rising in Cornwall and Devon to protest the abolition of the Mass occurred – the rebels called the 1549 Holy Communion Service, "commonly called the Mass", a Christian game. The rebellion was harshly put down.
Under Queen Mary I, in 1553, the fractured and schismatic English Church was linked anew to continental Catholicism and the See of Rome through the doctrinal and liturgical initiatives of Reginald Pole and other Catholic reformers. Mary was determined to return the whole of England to the Catholic faith. This aim was not necessarily at odds with the feeling of a large section of the populace; Edward's Protestant reformation had not been well received everywhere, and there was ambiguity in the responses of the parishes. Mary also had some powerful families behind her. The Jerningham family together with other East Anglian Catholic families such as the Bedingfelds, Waldegraves, Rochesters together with the Huddlestons of Sawston Hall were "the key to Queen Mary's successful accession to the throne. Without them she would never have made it." However, Mary's executions of 300 Protestants by burning at the stake proved counterproductive as this harsh measure was extremely unpopular among the populace. For example, instead of executing Archbishop Cranmer for treason for supporting Queen Jane, she had him tried for heresy and burned at a stake. Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which glorified the Protestants killed at the time and vilified Catholics, ensured her a place in popular memory as Bloody Mary. For centuries after, the idea of another reconciliation with Rome was linked in many English people's minds with a renewal of Mary's fiery stakes. Ultimately, her harshness was a success but at the cost of alienating a fairly large section of English society which had been moving away from some traditional Catholic devotional practices. These English were neither Calvinist nor Lutheran, but certainly leaning toward Protestantism (and by the late sixteenth century, were certainly Protestant).
When Mary died and Elizabeth I became queen in 1558, the religious situation in England was confused. Throughout the see-sawing religious landscape of the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I, a significant proportion of the population (especially in the rural and outlying areas of the country) are likely to have continued to hold Catholic views, or were conservative. Nevertheless, Elizabeth was a Protestant and the "very rituals with which the parish had celebrated her accession would be swept away". Thus Elizabeth's first act was to reverse her sister's re-establishment of Catholicism by Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity. The Act of Supremacy of 1558 made it a crime to assert the authority of any foreign prince, prelate, or other authority, and was aimed at abolishing the authority of the Pope in England. A third offence was high treason, punishable by death. The Oath of Supremacy, imposed by the Act of Supremacy 1558, provided for any person taking public or church office in England to swear allegiance to the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Failure to so swear was a crime, although it did not become treason until 1562, when the Supremacy of the Crown Act 1562 made a second offence of refusing to take the oath treason.
During the first years of her reign from 1558–1570 there was relative leniency towards Catholics who were willing to keep their religion private, especially if they were prepared to continue to attend their parish churches. The wording of the official prayer book had been carefully designed to make this possible by omitting aggressively "heretical" matter, and at first many English Catholics did in fact worship with their Protestant neighbors, at least until this was formally forbidden by Pope Pius V's 1570 bull, Regnans in Excelsis, which also declared that Elizabeth was not a rightful queen and should be deposed, formally excommunicated her and any who obeyed her and obliged all Catholics to attempt to overthrow her.
In response, the "Act to retain the Queen's Majesty's subjects in their obedience", passed in 1581, made it high treason to reconcile anyone or to be reconciled to "the Romish religion", or to procure or publish any papal Bull or writing whatsoever. The celebration of Mass was prohibited under penalty of a fine of two hundred marks and imprisonment for one year for the celebrant, and a fine of one hundred marks and the same imprisonment for those who heard the Mass. This act also increased the penalty for not attending the Anglican service to the sum of twenty pounds a month, or imprisonment until the fine was paid or until the offender went to the Protestant Church. A further penalty of ten pounds a month was inflicted on anyone keeping a schoolmaster who did not attend the Protestant service. The schoolmaster himself was to be imprisoned for one year.
In the setting of England's wars with Catholic powers such as France and Spain, culminating in the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Papal bull unleashed a nationalistic feeling which equated Protestantism with loyalty to a highly popular monarch, made Catholics "vulnerable to accusations of being traitors to the crown." The Rising of the North, the Throckmorton plot and the Babington plot, together with other subversive activities of supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, all reinforced the association of Catholicism with treachery in the minds of many, notably in middle and southern England.
The climax of Elizabeth's persecution of Catholics reached its zenith in 1585, two years before the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, with the Act against Jesuits, Seminary priests and other such like disobedient persons. This statute, under which most of the English Catholic martyrs were executed, made it high treason for any Jesuit or any seminary priest to be in England at all, and a felony for any one to harbour or relieve them.
The last of Elizabeth's anti-Catholic laws was the Act for the better discovery of wicked and seditious persons terming themselves Catholics, but being rebellious and traitorous subjects. Its effect was to prohibit all recusants from going more than five miles from their place of abode, and to order all persons suspected of being Jesuits or seminary priests, and not answering satisfactorily, to be imprisoned until they did so.
However, Elizabeth did not believe that her anti-Catholic policies constituted religious persecution, finding it hard, in the context of the uncompromising wording of the Papal Bull against her, to distinguish between those Catholics engaged in conflict with her from those Catholics with no such designs. The number of English Catholics executed under Elizabeth was significant, including Edmund Campion, Robert Southwell, and Margaret Clitherow. Elizabeth herself signed the death warrant that led to regicide, the beheading of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. In fact, as MacCulloch has noted, "England judicially murdered more Roman Catholics than any other country in Europe, which puts English pride in national tolerance in an interesting perspective." So distraught was Elizabeth over Catholic opposition to her throne, she was secretly reaching out to the Ottoman Sultan Murad III, "asking for military aid against Philip of Spain and the 'idolatrous princes' supporting him."
Because of the persecution in England, Catholic priests in England were trained abroad at the English College in Rome, the English College in Douai, the English College at Valladolid in Spain, and at the English College in Seville. Given that Douai was located in the Spanish Netherlands, part of the dominions of Elizabethan England's greatest enemy, and Valladolid and Seville in Spain itself, they became associated in the public eye with political as well as religious subversion. It was this combination of nationalistic public opinion, sustained persecution, and the rise of a new generation which could not remember pre-Reformation times and had no pre-established loyalty to Catholicism, that reduced the number of Catholics in England during this period – although the overshadowing memory of Queen Mary I's reign was another factor that should not be underestimated (the population of the country was 4.1 million). Nevertheless, by the end of the reign probably 20% of the population were still Catholic, with 10% dissident "Puritan" Protestants and the remainder more or less reconciled to the church as established as "parish Anglicans". By the end of her reign, most English people had largely been de-catholicised but were un-protestantised. Religious "uniformity," however, "was a lost cause," given the presence of Dissenting, Nonconformist Protestants, and Catholic minorities.
The reign of James I (1603–1625) was marked by a measure of tolerance, though less so after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot conspiracy of a small group of Catholic conspirators who aimed to kill both King and Parliament and establish a Catholic monarchy. A mix of persecution and tolerance followed: Ben Jonson and his wife, for example, in 1606 were summoned before the authorities for failure to take communion in the Church of England, yet the King tolerated some Catholics at court; for example George Calvert, to whom he gave the title Baron Baltimore, and the Duke of Norfolk, head of the Howard family.
The reign of Charles I (1625–49) saw a small revival of Catholicism in England, especially among the upper classes. As part of the royal marriage settlement Charles's Catholic wife, Henrietta Maria, was permitted her own royal chapel and chaplain. Henrietta Maria was in fact very strict in her religious observances, and helped create a court with continental influences, where Catholicism was tolerated, even somewhat fashionable. Some anti-Catholic legislation became effectively a dead letter. The Counter-Reformation on the continent of Europe had created a more vigorous and magnificent form of Catholicism (i.e., Baroque, notably found in the architecture and music of Austria, Italy and Germany) that attracted some converts, like the poet Richard Crashaw. Ironically, the explicitly Catholic artistic movement (i.e., Baroque) ended up "providing the blueprint, after the fire of London, for the first new Protestant churches to be built in England".
While Charles remained firmly Protestant, he was personally drawn towards a consciously "High Church" Anglicanism. This affected his appointments to Anglican bishoprics, in particular the appointment of William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury. How many Catholics and Puritans there were is still open to debate.
Religious conflict between Charles and other "High" Anglicans and Calvinists – at this stage mostly still within the Church of England (the Puritans) – formed a strand of the anti-monarchical leanings of the troubled politics of the period. The religious tensions between a court with "Papist" elements and a Parliament in which the Puritans were strong was one of the major factors behind the English Civil War, in which almost all Catholics supported the King. The victory of the Parliamentarians meant a strongly Protestant and anti-Catholic (and, incidentally, anti-Anglican) regime under Oliver Cromwell.
The restoration of the monarchy under Charles II (1660–85) also saw the restoration of a Catholic-influenced court like his father's. However, although Charles himself had Catholic leanings, he was first and foremost a pragmatist and realised the vast majority of public opinion in England was strongly anti-Catholic, so he agreed to laws such as the Test Act requiring any appointee to any public office or member of Parliament to deny Catholic beliefs such as transubstantiation. As far as possible, however, he maintained tacit tolerance. Like his father, he married a Catholic, Catherine of Braganza. (He would become Catholic himself on his deathbed.)
Charles' brother and heir James, Duke of York (later James II), converted to Catholicism in 1668–1669. When Titus Oates in 1678 alleged a (totally imaginary) "Popish Plot" to assassinate Charles and put James in his place, he unleashed a wave of parliamentary and public hysteria which led to anti-Catholic purges, and another wave of sectarian persecution, which Charles was either unable or unwilling to prevent. Throughout the early 1680s the Whig element in Parliament attempted to remove James as successor to the throne. Their failure saw James become, in 1685, Britain's first openly Catholic monarch since Mary I (and last to date). He promised religious toleration for Catholic and Protestants on an equal footing, but it is in doubt whether he did this to gain support from Dissenters or whether he was truly committed to tolerance (contemporary Catholic regimes in Spain and Italy, for example, were hardly tolerant of Protestantism, while those in France and Poland had practiced forms of toleration).
James' clear intent to work towards the restoration of the Church of England to the Catholic fold encouraged converts like the poet John Dryden, who wrote "The Hind and the Panther", celebrating his conversion. Protestant fears mounted as James placed Catholics in the major commands of the existing standing army, dismissed the Protestant Bishop of London and dismissed the Protestant fellows of Magdalen College and replaced them with a wholly Catholic board. The last straw was the birth of a Catholic heir in 1688, portending a return to a pre-Reformation Catholic dynasty.
William and Mary and the Church
In what came to be known as the Glorious Revolution, Parliament deemed James to have abdicated (effectively deposing him, though Parliament refused to call it that) in favor of his Protestant daughter and son-in-law and nephew, Mary II and William III. Although this affair is celebrated as solidifying both English liberties and the Protestant nature of the kingdom, some argue that it was "fundamentally a coup spearheaded by a foreign army and navy".
James fled into exile, and with him many Catholic nobility and gentry. The Act of Settlement 1701, which remains in operation today, established the royal line through Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and specifically excludes any Catholic or anyone who marries a Catholic from the throne. This Act was partially changed when the ban on the monarch marrying a Catholic was eliminated (along with the rule of male succession). Still, Catholics today once again are permitted to hold Wolsey and More's office of Lord Chancellor as did Catholics before the Reformation.
Henry Benedict Stuart (Cardinal-Duke of York), the last Jacobite heir to publicly assert a claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland, died in Rome in 1807. A monument to the Royal Stuarts exists today at Vatican City. Franz, Duke of Bavaria, head of the Wittelsbach family, is the most senior descendant of King Charles I and is considered by Jacobites to be the heir of the Stuarts. Franz's successor to the Jacobite claim is Sophie, Princess of Bavaria, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein and, according to the List of royalty by net worth, a member of the richest royal house in Europe.
Recusants and moves towards Emancipation
The years from 1688 to the early 19th century were in some respects the lowest point for Catholicism in England. Deprived of their dioceses, four Apostolic Vicariates were set up throughout England until the re-establishment of the diocesan episcopacy in 1850. Although the persecution was not violent as in the past, Catholic numbers, influence and visibility in English society reached their lowest point. The percentage of the population that was Catholic may have declined from 4% in 1700 (population 5.2 millions) to 1% 1800 (population of 7.25 million) with absolute numbers halved. Their civil rights were severely curtailed: their right to own property or inherit land was greatly limited, they were burdened with special taxes, they could not send their children abroad for Catholic education, they could not vote, and priests were liable to imprisonment. Writing about the Catholic Church during this time, historian Antonia Fraser notes:
The harsh laws and the live-and-let-live reality were two very different things. This world was divided into the upper classes, the aristocracy and the gentry, and what were literally the working classes. Undoubtedly, the survival of Catholicism in the past [up until 1829] was due to the dogged, but hopefully inconspicuous, protection provided by the former to the latter. Country neighbors, Anglicans and Catholics, lived amicably together in keeping with this "laissez-faire" reality.
There was no longer, as once in Stuart times, any notable Catholic presence at court, in public life, in the military or professions. Many of the Catholic nobles and gentry who had preserved on their lands among their tenants small pockets of Catholicism had followed James into exile, and others, at least outwardly in cryptic fashion, conformed to Anglicanism, meaning fewer such Catholic communities survived intact. For "obvious reasons", Catholic aristocracy at this time was heavily intermarried. Their great houses, however, still had chapels called "libraries", with priests attached to these places (shelved for books) who celebrated Mass, which worship was described in public as "Prayers". Interestingly, one area where the sons of working class Catholics could find religious tolerance was in the army. Generals, for example, did not deny Catholic men their Mass and did not compel them to attend Anglican services, believing that "physical strength and devotion to the military struggle was demanded of them, not spiritual allegiance". Fraser also notes that the role of the working class among themselves was important:
...servants of various degrees and farm workers, miners, mill workers and tradesmen, responded with loyalty, hard work and gratitude for the opportunity to practice the faith of their fathers (and even more importantly, in many cases, their mothers). Their contributions should not be ignored, even if it is for obvious reasons more difficult to uncover than that of their theoretical superiors. The unspoken survival of the Catholic community in England, despite Penal laws, depended also on these loyal families unknown to history whose existence is recorded as Catholics in Anglican parish registers. That of Walton-le-Dale parish church, near Preston in Lancashire in 1781, for example, records 178 families, with 875 individuals as 'Papists'. Where baptisms are concerned, parental occupations are stated as weaver, husbandman and labourer, with names such as Turner, Wilcock, Balwin and Charnley.
A bishop at this time (roughly from 1688 to 1850) was called a Vicar apostolic. A Vicar Apostolic was a titular bishop (as opposed to a diocesan bishop) through whom the pope exercised jurisdiction over a particular church territory in England. English-speaking colonial America came under the jurisdiction of the Vicar Apostolic of the London. As titular bishop over Catholics in British America, he was important to the government not only in regard to its English-speaking North American colonies, but made more so after the Seven Years' War when the British Empire, in 1763, acquired the French-speaking (and predominantly Catholic) territory of Canada. Only after the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and in 1789 with the consecration of John Carroll, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, did the U.S. have its own diocesan bishop, free of the Vicar Apostolic of London, James Robert Talbot.
Most Catholics retreated to relative isolation from a popular Protestant mainstream, and Catholicism in England in this period was politically, if not socially, invisible to history. However, there were exceptions. Alexander Pope, owing to his literary popularity, was one memorable English Catholic of the 18th century. Other memorable Catholics were three remarkable members of the Catholic gentry: Baron Petre (who wined and dined George III and Queen Charlotte at Thorndon Hall), Thomas Weld of the Weld-Blundell family (who in 1794 donated buildings to the Jesuits for Stonyhurst College, along with 30 acres of land), and the Duke of Norfolk, the Premier Duke in the peerage of England and as Earl of Arundel, the Premier Earl. In virtue of his status and as head of the Howard family (which included some Church of England members as well as many Catholic members), the Duke was always at court. It seemed the values and worth of aristocracy "trumped those of the illegal religion". Pope, however, seemed to benefit from the isolation. In 1713, when he was 25, he took subscriptions for a project that filled his life for the next seven years, the result being a new version of Homer's Iliad. Samuel Johnson pronounced it the greatest translation ever achieved in the English language. Over time, Pope became the greatest poet of the age, the Augustan Age, especially for his mock-heroic poems, Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad. Around this time, in 1720, Clement XI proclaimed Anselm of Canterbury a Doctor of the Church. In 1752, mid-century, Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Later in the century there was some liberalization of the anti-Catholic laws on the basis of Enlightenment ideals.
In 1778 a Catholic Relief Act allowed Catholics to own property, inherit land and join the army. Hardline Protestant mobs reacted in the Gordon Riots in 1780, attacking any building in London which was associated with Catholicism or owned by Catholics. Other reforms allowed the clergy to operate more openly and thus allowed permanent missions to be set up in the larger towns. Stonyhurst College, for example, was re-established in 1791 for wealthier Catholics. In 1837, James Arundell, 10th Baron Arundell of Wardour, bequeathed to Stonyhurst the Arundel Library, which contained the vast Arundel family collection, including some of the school's most important books and manuscripts such as a Shakespeare First Folio and a manuscript copy of Froissart's Chronicles, looted from the body of a dead Frenchman after the Battle of Agincourt. Yet Catholic recusants as a whole remained a small group, except where they stayed the majority religion in various pockets, notably in rural Lancashire and Cumbria, or were part of the Catholic aristocracy and squirearchy. One contemporary descendant of recusants is Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) and writer. Radcliffe is related to three former cardinals – Weld, Vaughan and Hume (the last because his cousin Lord Hunt is married to Hume's sister) – and his family is connected to many of the great recusant English Catholic families, the Arundels, Tichbournes, Talbots, Stourtons, Stonors, and Weld-Blundells. Finally, the famous recusant Maria Fitzherbert, who during this period secretly married the Prince of Wales, Prince Regent, and future George IV in 1785. The British Constitution, however, did not accept it and George IV later moved on. Cast aside by the establishment, she was adopted by the town of Brighton, whose citizens, both Catholic and Protestant, called her "Mrs. Prince". According to journalist Richard Abbott, "Before the town had a [Catholic] church of its own, she had a priest say Mass at her own house, and invited local Catholics", suggesting the recusants of Brighton were not very undiscovered.
In a new study of the English Catholic community, 1688–1745, Gabriel Glickman notes that Catholics, especially those whose social position gave them access to the courtly centres of power and patronage, had a significant part to play in 18th-century England. They were not as marginal as one might think today. For example, Alexander Pope was not the only Catholic whose contributions (especially, Essays on Man) help define the temper of an early English Enlightenment. In addition to Pope, Glickman notes, a Catholic architect, James Gibbs, returned baroque forms to the London skyline and a Catholic composer, Thomas Arne, composed "Rule Britannia". According to reviewer Aidan Bellenger, Glickman also suggests that "rather than being the victims of the Stuart failure, 'the unpromising setting of exile and defeat' had 'sown the seed of a frail but resilient English Catholic Enlightenment'." University of Chicago historian Steven Pincus likewise argues in his book, 1688: The First Modern Revolution, that Catholics under William and Mary and their successors experienced considerable freedom.
Nineteenth century and the Irish
After this moribund period, the first signs of a revival occurred as thousands of French Catholics fled France during the French Revolution. The leaders of the Revolution were virulently anti-Catholic, even singling out priests and nuns for summary execution or massacre, and England was seen as a safe haven from Jacobin violence. Also around this time (1801), a new political entity was formed, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, thus increasing the number of Catholics in the new state. Pressure for abolition of anti-Catholic laws grew, particularly with the need for Catholic recruits to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. Despite the strong opposition of King George III, which delayed reform, 1829 brought the culmination of the liberalisation of the anti-Catholic laws. Parliament passed the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, giving Catholics almost equal civil rights, including the right to vote and to hold most public offices. If Catholics were rich, however, exceptions were always made, even before the changes. For example, American ministers to the Court of St. James's were often struck by the prominence of wealthy American-born Catholics, titled ladies among the nobility, like Louisa (Caton), granddaughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and her two sisters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth. After Louisa's first husband (Sir Felton Bathurst-Hervey) died, Louisa later married the son of the Duke of Leeds, and had the Duke of Wellington as her European protector. Her sister Mary Ann married the Marquess of Wellesley, the brother of the Duke of Wellington; and her other sister Elizabeth (Lady Stafford) married another British nobleman. Though British law required an Anglican marriage service, each of the sisters and their Protestant spouses had a Catholic ceremony afterwards. At Louisa's first marriage, the Duke of Wellington escorted the bride.
In the 1840s and 1850s, especially during the Great Irish Famine, while much of the large outflow of migration from Ireland was headed to the United States to seek work, hundreds of thousands of Irish people also migrated across the channel to England and Scotland and established communities in cities there, including London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow, but also in towns and villages up and down the country, thus giving Catholicism in England a numerical boost.
A proportion of the Anglicans who were involved in the Oxford Movement or "Tractarianism" were ultimately led beyond these positions and converted to the Catholic Church, including, in 1845, the movement's principal intellectual leader, John Henry Newman. More new Catholics would come from the Anglican Church, often via high Anglicanism, for at least the next hundred years, and something of this continues.
As anti-Catholicism declined sharply after 1910, the Church grew in numbers, grew rapidly in terms of priests and sisters, and expanded their parishes from intercity industrial areas to more suburban locales. Although underrepresented in the higher levels of the social structure, apart from a few old aristocratic Catholic families, Catholic talent was emerging in journalism, literature, the arts, and diplomacy.
A striking development was the surge in highly publicised conversion of intellectuals and writers including most famously G. K. Chesterton, as well as Robert Hugh Benson and Ronald Knox, Maurice Baring, Christopher Dawson, Eric Gill, Graham Greene, Manya Harari, David Jones, Sheila Kaye-Smith, Arnold Lunn, Rosalind Murray, Alfred Noyes, William E. Orchard, Frank Pakenham, Siegfried Sassoon, Edith Sitwell, Muriel Spark, Graham Sutherland, and Evelyn Waugh. Pre-1900 famous converts included Cardinals Newman and Henry Edward Manning, as well as the leading architect of the Gothic Revival, Augustus Pugin, historian Thomas William Allies, and Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Prominent cradle Catholics included the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, writers such as Hilaire Belloc, Lord Acton, and J. R. R. Tolkien and the composer Edward Elgar, whose oratorio The Dream of Gerontius was based on a 19th-century poem by Newman.
At various points after the 16th century hopes have been entertained by many English Catholics that the "reconversion of England" was near at hand. Additionally, with the arrival of Irish Catholic migrants (Ireland was part of the UK until the partition, in 1922), some considered that a "second spring" of Catholicism across Britain was developing. Rome responded by re-establishing the Catholic hierarchy in 1850, creating 12 Catholic dioceses in England from existing apostolic vicariates and appointing diocesan bishops (to replace earlier titular bishops) with fixed sees on a more traditional Catholic pattern. The Catholic Church in England and Wales had 22 dioceses immediately before the Reformation, but none of the current 22 bear close resemblance (geographically) to those 22 earlier pre-Reformation dioceses.
The re-established diocesan episcopacy specifically avoided using places that were seats of Church of England dioceses as seats, in effect temporarily abandoning the titles of Catholic dioceses before Elizabeth I because of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851, which in England favoured a state church (i.e., Church of England) and denied arms and legal existence to territorial Catholic sees on the basis that the state could not grant such "privileges" to "entities" that allegedly did not exist. Some of the Catholic dioceses, however, took the titles of bishoprics which had previously existed in England but were no longer used by the Anglican Church (e.g. Beverley – later divided into Leeds and Middlesbrough, Hexham – later changed to Hexham and Newcastle). In the few cases where a Catholic diocese bears the same title as an Anglican one in the same town or city (e.g., Birmingham, Liverpool, Portsmouth, and Southwark), this is the result of the Church of England ignoring the prior existence there of a Catholic see and of the technical repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act in 1871. The Act applied only to England and Wales, not Scotland or Ireland; thus official recognition afforded by the grant of arms to the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, brought into being by Lord Lyon in 1989, relied on the fact that the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851 never applied to Scotland. In recent times, the former Conservative Cabinet Minister John Gummer, a prominent convert to Catholicism and columnist for the Catholic Herald in 2007, objected to the fact that no Catholic diocese could have the same name as an Anglican diocese (such as London, Canterbury, Durham, etc.) "even though those dioceses had, shall we say, been borrowed".
Contemporary English Catholicism
English Catholicism continued to grow throughout the first two-thirds of the 20th century, when it was associated primarily with elements in the English intellectual class and the ethnic Irish population. Numbers attending Mass remained very high in stark contrast with the Anglican church (although not to other Protestant churches), Clergy numbers, which began the 20th century at under 3,000, reached a high of 7,500 in 1971.
By the latter years of the twentieth century low numbers of vocations also affected the church with ordinations to the priesthood dropping from the hundreds in the late 20th century into the teens in 2006–2011 (16 in 2009 for example) and a recovery into the 20s thereafter, with a prediction for 2018 of 24.
As in other English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia, the movement of Irish Catholics out of the working-class into the middle-class suburban mainstream often meant their assimilation with broader, secular English society and loss of a separate Catholic identity. The Second Vatican Council has been followed, as in other Western countries, by divisions between traditional Catholicism and a more liberal form of Catholicism claiming inspiration from the Council. This caused difficulties for not a few pre-conciliar converts, though others have still joined the Church in recent decades (for instance, Malcolm Muggeridge, Alec Guinness, and Joseph Pearce). And public figures (often descendants of the recusant families) include such as Paul Johnson; Peter Ackroyd; Antonia Fraser; Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC; Michael Martin, first Catholic to hold the office of Speaker of the House of Commons since the Reformation; Chris Patten, first Catholic to hold the post of Chancellor of Oxford since the Reformation; Piers Paul Read; Helen Liddel, Britain's High Commissioner to Australia; and former Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, These have no difficulty making their Catholicism known in public life. The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2007. Catherine Pepinster, editor of Tablet, notes: "The impact of Irish immigrants is one. There are numerous prominent campaigners, academics, entertainers (like Danny Boyle the most successful Catholic in showbiz owing to his film, Slumdog Millionaire), politicians and writers. But the descendants of the recusant families are still a force in the land."
Since the Council the Church in England has tended to focus on ecumenical dialogue with the Anglican Church rather than winning converts from it as in the past. However, the 1990s have seen a number of conversions from Anglicanism to the Catholic Church, largely prompted by the Church of England's decision to ordain women as priests (among other moves away from traditional doctrines and structures). The resultant converts included members of the Royal Family (Katharine, Duchess of Kent, her son Lord Nicholas Windsor and her grandson Baron Downpatrick), Graham Leonard (former Anglican Bishop of London), Frances Shand Kydd (maternal grandmother of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex), and a number of Anglican priests. Converts to Catholicism in Britain occur for any number of reasons, not least from "the mystical buoyant instinct" within each person to grow toward a profounder expression of what they believe. In 2019, Charles Moore, former editor of The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, and authorized biographer of Margaret Thatcher, noted that his conversion in 1994 to Catholicism followed the Church of England's decision to ordain women, "unilaterally." The Church of England's "determination to do this," he said, "willy-nilly, come what may, meant that they weren't serious about Christian unity, because the Catholic and Orthodox had a different view."
The spirit of ecumenism fostered by Vatican II resulted in 1990 with the Catholic Church in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland joining Churches Together in Britain and Ireland as an expression of the churches' commitment to work ecumenically. Recently, for example, a memorial was put up to St John Houghton and fellow Carthusian monks martyred at the London Charterhouse, 1535. Anglican priest Geoffrey Curtis campaigned for it with the current Archbishop of Canterbury's blessing. Also, in another ecumenical gesture, a plaque in Holywell Street, Oxford, now commemorates the Catholic martyrs of England. It reads: "Near this spot George Nichols, Richard Yaxley, Thomas Belson, and Humphrey Pritchard were executed for their Catholic faith, 5 July 1589." And at Lambeth Palace, in February 2009, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a reception to launch a book, Why Go To Church?, by Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, one of Britain's best known religious and the former master of the Dominican Order. A large number of young Dominican friars attended. Fr Radcliffe said, "I don't think there have been so many Dominicans in one place since the time of Robert Kilwardby, the Dominican Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century."
The Church's principles of social justice influenced initiatives to tackle the challenges of poverty and social inclusion. In Southampton, Fr Pat Murphy O'Connor founded the St Dismas Society as an agency to meet the needs of ex-prisoners discharged from Winchester prison. Some of St Dismas Society's early members went on to help found the Simon Community in Sussex then in London. Their example gave new inspiration to other clergy, such as the Revd Kenneth Leech (CofE) of St Anne's Church, Soho, who helped found the homeless charity Centrepoint, and the Revd Bruce Kenrick (Church of Scotland) who helped found the homeless charity Shelter. In 1986 Cardinal Basil Hume established the Cardinal Hume Centre to work with homeless young people, badly housed families and local communities to access accommodation, support and advice, education, training and employment opportunities.
In 2006 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor instituted an annual Mass in Support of Migrant Workers at Westminster Cathedral in partnership with the ethnic chaplains of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has five provinces: Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Southwark and Westminster. There are 22 dioceses which are divided into parishes (for comparison, the Church of England and Church in Wales currently have a total of 50 dioceses). In addition to these, there are four dioceses covering England and Wales for specific groups which are the Bishopric of the Forces, the Eparchy for Ukrainians, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Great Britain and the Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans.
The Catholic bishops in England and Wales come together in a collaborative structure known as the Bishops' Conference. Currently the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols, is the president of the Bishops' Conference. For this reason in the global Catholic Church (outside England), he is de facto Primate of England though not in the eyes of English law and the established Church of England. Historically, the avoidance of the title of "Primate" was to eschew whipping up anti-Catholic tension, in the same way the bishops of the restored hierarchy avoided using current titles of Anglican sees (Archbishop of Westminster rather than "Canterbury" or "London"). However, the Archbishop of Westminster had certain privileges: he was the only metropolitan in the country until 1911 (when the archdioceses of Birmingham and Liverpool were created) and he has always acted as leader at meetings of the English bishops.
Although the bishops of the restored hierarchy were obliged to take new titles, such as that of Westminster, they saw themselves very much in continuity with the pre-Reformation Church. Westminster in particular saw itself as the continuation of Canterbury, hence the similarity of the coat of arms of the two sees (with Westminster believing it has more right to it since it features the pallium, no longer given to Anglican archbishops). At the back of Westminster Cathedral is a list of Popes and, alongside this, a list of Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury beginning with Augustine of Canterbury and the year they received the pallium. After Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic incumbent of Canterbury, the names of the Catholic vicars apostolic or titular bishops (from 1685) are recorded and then the Archbishops of Westminster, in one unimpaired line, from 597 to the present, according to the Archdiocese of Westminster. To highlight this continuity or unimpaired line today, dating back to Pope Gregory I's appointment of Augustine and his sequent bestowal of the pallium on the appointee, the installation rites of pre-Reformation Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury and earlier Archbishops of Westminster were used at the installation of the current Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols. He became the forty-third of the English cardinals since the 12th century.
Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
In October 2009, following closed-circuit talks between some Anglicans and the Holy See, Pope Benedict made a relatively unconditional offer to accommodate disaffected Anglicans in the Church of England, enabling them, for the first time, to retain parts of their liturgy and heritage under Anglicanorum coetibus, while being in full communion with Rome. By April 2012 the UK ordinariate numbered about 1200, including five bishops and 60 priests. The ordinariate has recruited a group of aristocrats as honorary vice-presidents to help out. These include the Duke of Norfolk, the Countess of Oxford and Asquith and the Duchess of Somerset. Other vice-presidents include Lord Nicholas Windsor, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth and the Squire de Lisle, whose ancestor Ambrose de Lisle was a 19th-century Catholic convert who advocated the corporate reunion of the Anglican Church with Rome. According to the first Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, the ordinariate will "work on something with an Anglican flavour, but they are not bringing over any set of Anglican liturgy". The director of music at Westminster Abbey (Anglican), lay Catholic James O'Donnell, likens the ordinariate to a Uniate church or one of the many non-Latin Catholic rites, saying: "This is a good opportunity for us to remember that there isn't a one size fits all, and that this could be a good moment to adopt the famous civil service philosophy – 'celebrating diversity'." In May 2013 a former Anglican priest, Alan Hopes, was appointed the new Bishop of East Anglia, whose diocese includes the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Eastern Catholic Churches
There exists the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians which serves the 15,000 Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Great Britain, with a cathedral and various churches across the country.
The Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO) runs in England and Wales. The LMO is an order of the Maronite Catholic Church, serving Maronite Catholics in England and Wales. The Revd Augustine Aoun is the parish priest for Maronites. The LMO runs a few churches, for example Our Lady of Sorrows in Paddington and Our Lady of Lebanon in Swiss Cottage.
There are also Catholic chaplains involved in the ministries of Eastern Catholic Churches (of Eritrean, Chaldean, Syriac, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, and Melkite communities). For information about the Syro-Malabar chaplaincy within the Diocese of Westminster in London, see Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of London.
At the 2001 United Kingdom census, there were 4.2 million Catholics in England and Wales, some eight per cent of the population. One hundred years earlier, in 1901, they represented only 4.8 per cent of the population. In 1981, 8.7 per cent of the population of England and Wales were Catholic. In 2009, an Ipsos Mori poll found that 9.6 per cent, or 5.2 million persons of all ethnicities were Catholic in England and Wales. Sizeable populations include North West England where one in five is Catholic, a result of large-scale Irish immigration in the nineteenth century as well as the high number of English recusants in Lancashire.
Migration from Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries and more recent Eastern European migration have significantly increased the numbers of Catholics in England and Wales, although Pew Research data and stats of 2018 point to other factors at work. According to Pew researchers, 19% of UK adults identify as Catholic, nearly doubling the Catholic population. While figures for England and Wales alone are difficult to estimate, the ethnic make-up of the Catholic population in the UK (which includes Northern Irish as British) was, at least in 2008, as follows :
|White Eastern European||9.5%|
Polish Catholic immigration
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Polish-speaking Catholics first arrived in England in some numbers after the partitions of Poland during the 18th century. One of the most notable Poles at this time, who eventually settled in England, was Joseph Conrad. At the end of the Second World War, many Polish servicemen were unable to return to their homeland following the imposition of a communist regime hostile to their return. The Polish Resettlement Corps was formed by the British government to ease their transition into British life. They were joined by several thousand Displaced Persons (DPs), many of whom were their family members. This influx of Poles gave rise to the Polish Resettlement Act 1947 which allowed approximately 250,000 Polish Servicemen and their dependents to settle in Britain. Many assimilated into existing Catholic congregations. According to the Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales in 1948 the Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales agreed to the appointment of a vicar delegate, nominated by the Polish Episcopate, with ordinary power over the Polish clergy and laity throughout England and Wales, with certain exceptions relating to marriage. Subsequently, whenever a Polish Catholic community emerges within England and Wales, the vicar delegate appoints a Polish priest to organise a local branch of the Polish Catholic Mission. A priest thus appointed is the priest in charge, not a parish priest. There are no Polish parishes or quasiparishes in England and Wales (in accordance with Canons 515 §1 and 516 §1) with the exception of the church at Devonia Road in London. A Polish Community is sometimes referred to as a "parish" but is not a parish in the canonical sense. Hence the Community is not a juridical person. The canonical juridical personality which represents the interests of all Polish Communities is vested in the Polish Catholic Mission.
Since the 2004 accession of Poland to the European Union there has been further, large-scale Polish immigration to the UK. Currently the Polish Catholic Mission includes around 219 parishes and pastoral centres with 114 priests. The current rector of the Polish Catholic Mission is the Rev. Stefan Wylężek. In Poland, the Polish Bishops Conference has a delegate with special responsibility for émigré Poles. The current postholder is Bishop Ryszard Karpiński. The Tablet reported in December 2007 that the Polish Catholic Mission says these parishes follow a pastoral programme set by the Polish conference of bishops and are viewed as "an integral part of the Polish church".
In December 2007, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "I'm quite concerned that Poles are creating a separate Church in Britain – I would want them to be part of the Catholic life of this country. I would hope those responsible for the Polish Church here, and the Poles themselves, will be aware that they should become a part of local parishes as soon as possible when they learn enough of the language." Mgr Kukla stressed that the Polish Catholic Mission continues to have a "good relationship" with the hierarchy in England and Wales and said "Integration is a long process".
Significantly, the Polish Mission co-operated fully with the English hierarchy's recent research enquiry into the needs of migrants in London's Catholic community. "The Ground of Justice" report by Francis Davis and Jolanta Stanke et al. Von Hügel Institute at St Edmund's College, Cambridge was commissioned by Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood. Around 1000 people attending Mass in three London dioceses were surveyed using anonymous questionnaires available in Polish, Lithuanian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English. The congregations were from mainstream diocesan parishes, ethnic chaplaincies, and churches of the Polish vicariate. The report findings described how 86% of eastern Europeans said the availability of Mass in their mother tongue was a reason for their choosing to worship in a particular church. The report's recommendations emphasised cooperation with key overseas bishops conferences, dioceses and religious institutes on the recruitment and appointment of ethnic chaplains; the recognition of language skills as a legitimate training activity and cost for seminarians, clergy, parish volunteer and lay employees; and the consolidation of dispersed charitable funds for pastoral development and the poor in London.
On 3 November 2016, John Bingham, Head of Media at the Church of England, reported in The Daily Telegraph that Cardinal Vincent Nichols officially acknowledged that the Catholic Church in England and Wales had pressured young unmarried mothers in the country to put their children up for adoption in agencies linked to the Catholic Church throughout the decades following World War II and offered an apology.
Catholic saints of the United Kingdom
Saints and Doctors of the Church, notable and Pre-Reformation:
- Alban (d. 251 or 304), protomartyr
- David (500–589), monk, bishop, and teacher
- Patrick (late 5th century), missionary, 'Apostle to Ireland'
- Augustine of Canterbury (d. 605), Professed Religious Priest of the Order of St Benedict, bishop
- Padarn, early 6th century, bishop
- Cuthbert (c.634–687), missionary and bishop
- Bede (672?–735), Professed Religious Priest of the Order of St Benedict, Doctor of the Church
- Dunstan (909–988), abbot, bishop, archbishop
- Edward the Confessor (1003–1066), king
- Anselm (1033–1109), Professed Religious Priest of the Order of St Benedict, archbishop, Doctor of the Church
- Thomas Becket (1118–1170), bishop and martyr
- Richard of Chichester (1197–1253), bishop
- Simon Stock (1165–1265), Carmelite Friar
Saints from the period of the Reformation to the present:
- John Fisher – (1469–1535), Bishop of Rochester; Cardinal
- Thomas More – (1478–1535), Married Layperson of the Archdiocese of Westminster
- John Houghton – (1487–1535), Professed Priest of the Carthusians
- Robert Lawrence – (d. 1535), Professed Priest of the Carthusians
- Augustine Webster – (d. 1535), Professed Priest of the Carthusians
- Richard Reynolds – (d. 1535), Professed Priest of the Carthusians
- John Stone – (d.1539), Professed Priest of the Augustinians
- Cuthbert Mayne – (1544–1577), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Edmund Campion – (1540–1581), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Ralph Sherwin – (1550–1581), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Alexander Briant – (1556–1581), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- John Paine – (d. 1582), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Luke Kirby – (1549–1582), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Richard Gwyn – (1537–1584), Married Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Margaret Clitherow née Middleton – (1550–1586), Married Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Margaret Ward – (d. 1588), Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Edmund Gennings – (1567–1591), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Swithun Wells – (1536–1591), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Eustace White – (d. 1591), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Polydore Plasden – (d. 1591), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- John Boste – (1543–1582), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Robert Southwell – (1561–1595), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Henry Walpole – (1558–1595), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Philip Howard – (1557–1595), Married Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- John Jones – (1559–1598), Professed Priest of the Franciscan Friars Minor (Observants)
- John Rigby – (d. 1600), Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Anne Line née Higham – (1565–1601), Married Layperson of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Nicholas Owen – (1550–1606), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Thomas Garnet – (1575–1608), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- John Roberts – (1576–1610), Professed Priest of the Benedictines
- John Almond – (1577–1612), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- John Ogilvie – (1579–1615), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Edmund Arrowsmith – (1585–1628), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Edward Barlow – (1585–1641), Professed Priest of the Benedictines
- Bartholomew Roe – (1583–1642), Professed Priest of the Benedictines
- Henry Morse – (1595–1645), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- John Southworth – (1592–1654), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- William Plessington – (1637–1679), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- Philip Evans – (1645–1679), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- John Lloyd – (1630–1679), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- John Henry Newman – (1801–1890), Professed Priest of the Oratory, Theologian, Philosopher, Cardinal
- John Wall – (1620–1679), Professed Priest of the Franciscan Friars Minor (Recollects)
- John Kemble – (1599–1679), Priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of England
- David Lewis – (1616–1679), Professed Priest of the Jesuits
- Margaret Pole – (1473–1541), Martyr, Countess of Salisbury
- Dominic Barberi – (1792–1849), Professed Priest of the Passionists
- Ralph Crockett – (1550–1588), Seminary Priest and Martyr
- Mary Potter – (1847–1913), Founder of the Little Company of Mary
- Margaret Sinclair – (1900–1925), Professed Religious of the Poor Clare Colettine Nuns
- Bridget Teresa McCrory – (1893–1984), Founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm
- Joan Ward – (1585–1645), Founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters) and Congregatio Iesu
Servants of God
- Elizabeth Prout – (1820–1864), Founder of the Sisters of the Cross and the Passion
- George Spencer – (1799–1864), Professed Priest of the Passionists
- Margaret Hallahan – (1802–1868), Founder of the Dominican Sisters of the English Congregation of Saint Catherine of Siena
- Frances Taylor – (1832–1900), Founder of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God
- Teresa Helena Higginson – (1844–1905), Layperson of the Archdiocese of Liverpool
- Mary Janet Erskine Stuart – (1857–1914), Professed Religious of the Society of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Other Open Cause
A number of events which Catholics hold to be miracles are associated with England.
A number of Marian apparitions are associated with England, the best known are the following;
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel, associated with Simon Stock at Aylesford
- Our Lady of Walsingham, associated with Richeldis de Faverches at Walsingham
- Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, associated with Helsim the Abbot in the North Sea
- Our Lady of Evesham, associated with Egwin of Evesham at Evesham
- Our Lady of Canterbury, associated with Dunstan and Anselm at Canterbury
- Our Lady of London, associated with Thomas a Becket and Hildegard von Bingen at London
- Our Lady of Jervaulx, associated with Abbot John Kingston of Byland at Jervaulx
- Our Lady of Durham, associated with Godric of Finchale at Durham
- Our Lady of Ipswich, associated with Anne Wentworth at Ipswich
A number of cases of alleged incorruptibility of some Catholic saints are associated with England;
- Æthelthryth of Ely, hand discovered in 1811
- Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, relics destroyed under Henry VIII
- Werburgh of Chester, relics destroyed under Henry VIII
- Wihtburh of East Anglia, relics destroyed under Henry VIII
- Winibald of Wessex, tomb found empty in 1968
- Guthlac of Crowland, relics destroyed by Vikings
- Ælfheah of Canterbury, buried at Canterbury Cathedral
- Edward the Confessor, bodily allegedly intact in 1269, skeleton by 1685
- Hugh of Lincoln, tomb pillaged in 1364, shrine destroyed under Henry VIII
- Edmund of Abingdon, taken to Pontigny Abbey in France
- John Southworth, returned to Westminster Cathedral in 1927
- Agatha Christie indult
- British Catholic History Cambridge University Press
- Carthusian Martyrs
- Catholic Church by country
- Catholic Church in Ireland
- Catholic Church in Scotland
- Catholic Church in the United Kingdom
- Catholic National Library
- Catholic schools in the United Kingdom
- Cluniac Reforms
- Council of London in 1102
- English College, Rome
- Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
- Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
- List of Catholic martyrs of the English Reformation
- List of English cardinals
- Priest hole
- Shropshire & Wrekin Catholic Region
- The Stripping of the Altars
- Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
- Clifford, Cornelius. "St. Augustine of Canterbury." In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 3 April 2019 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02081a.htm.
- Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 3, 2.
- F.L. Cross, Ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (New York; Oxford University Press, 2005)
- Richard P. McBrien, The Church (New York: Harper One, 2008), p. 356. McBrien explains the term "Catholic Communion of Churches" in this book.
- Michael Walsh, Westminster Cardinals (London: Burns and Oates, 2009) ISBN 0-86012-459-2.
- Christopher Lamb, "Cathedral countdown to installation", The Tablet, 16 May 2009, p. 39.
- Lucy Woodling, "Binding Identities", The Tablet, 26 June 2011, p. 29.
- In the decree on Eastern Catholic Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum), Vatican II insists that Eastern Catholic communities are true churches and not just rites within the Catholic Church (n.2).
- Leyshon, Dr Gareth (August 2004). "Catholic Statistics Priests and Population in England and Wales, 1841 – 2001" (PDF). drgareth.info. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- "Numbers Game," The Tablet, 31 October 2009, 16. (https://archive.today/20130613102848/http://tablet.archive.netcopy.co.uk/article/7th-november-2009/35/a million-more-catholics-in-england-and-wales-acco)(
- "The Catholic Vote in Britain Helped Carry Blair To Victory" (http://www.ipsos-mori.com/newsevents/ca/247/The-Catholic-Vote-In-Britain-Helped-Carry-Blair-To-Victory.aspx). Ipsos MORI.23 May 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2011. "There are considerable regional variations, of course, Catholics being most widespread in London, Scotland, and particularly in North-West (where one in five is Catholic)"
- David M. Cheney, "Great Britain, Statistics by Diocese, by Catholic Population [Catholic hierarchy]" (http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/).
- Kevin Phillips, The Cousins' Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 480–484. Phillips notes: "the subjection [of the Irish] of the seventeenth century was almost complete. ... During the first quarter of the eighteenth century [after the Treaty of Union], Catholic bishops were banned and priests required to register. Catholics lost their right to vote, hold office, own a gun or a horse worth more than £5, or live in towns without paying special fees....Once again the Irish were pushed west to poorer lands, an exodus that prefigured the disposition of the American Indians over the next two centuries."
- "The Effect of Christianity upon the British Celts" (PDF). Kimberly Rachel Grunke. 6 November 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Charles Plummer, "Excursus on the Paschal Controversy and Tonsure", in his edition Venerablilis Baedae, Historiam Ecclesiasticam Gentis Anglorum, 1892 (Oxford: University Press, 1975), pp. 348–354.
- Kathleen Hughes, "The Celtic Church: Is This a Valid Concept?", O'Donnell lectures in Celtic Studies, University of Oxford 1975 (published in Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, 1 , pp. 1–20).
- Wendy Davies, "The Myth of the Celtic Church", in The Early Church in Wales and the West, Oxbow Monograph, no. 16, edited by Nancy Edwards and Alan Lane, 12–21. Oxford: Oxbow, 1992.
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Home".
- H.E., III, iv
- Peter Ackroyd Albion (New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 33.
- http://www.newadvent.org: St Wilfrid.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link): Hygeberht, Adrian I
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link): St Dunstan
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link): Lanfranc, Anselm, Innocent III, Hubert Walter, Canterbury.
- Note Bede in his Hist. Eccl., I, xxxiii: "When Augustine, the first archbishop of Canterbury, assumed the throne in that royal city, he recovered therein, by the king's assistance, a church which, as he was told, had been constructed by the original labor of Roman believers. This church he consecrated in the name of the Saviour, Our God and Lord Jesus Christ, and there he established an habitation for himself and his successors."
- Charterhouse in London: monastery, mansion, hospital, school / by Gerald S. Davis – Davies, Gerald S. (Gerald Stanley), 1845–1927 26 27 31
- http://www.newadvent.org/cathen The Catholic Encyclopedia on the breach with Rome under Henry VIII.
- Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York: Viking, 2003), 193,4. MacCulloch: "This program became a series of legislative acts steered through the English Parliament between 1533 and 1536 by a new chief minister, the obscurely born Thomas Cromwell."
- G. W. Bernard, "The Dissolution of the Monasteries," History (2011) 96#324 p 390
- Giles Fraser, "Where did the Church's land go?" UnHerd, 5 December 2019, 2. https://unherd.com/2019/05/what-has-the-church-done-with-its-land/
- Alexandra Walsham, "unnecessary rupture", the Tablet, 18 March 2017 (in a review of Eamon Duffy's Reformation Divided: Catholics, Protestants and the Conversion of England [Bloomsbury]).
- Loades, pp. 207–208; Waller, p. 65; Whitelock, p. 198.
- In Ludlow in Shropshire the parishioners complied with the orders to remove the rood and other images in 1547, and in the same year spent money on making up the canopy to be carried over the Blessed Sacrament on the feast of Corpus Christi. (Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, p. 481, Yale University Press, 1992).
- Keith Miles, "Portrait of Mary Tudor", The Tablet 12 September 2009, 20
- Diarmard MacCulloch Thomas Cranmer: A Life (London: Yale University Press, 1996), 538–41 ISBN 0-300-06688-0
- Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation, A History (New York: Viking Press, 2003), 272–7.
- "Mary's Protestant Martyrs and Elizabeth's Catholic Traitors in the Age of Catholic Emancipation", John E. Drabble / Church History, Vol. 51, No. 2 (June 1982), pp. 172–185.
- Alister McGrath, "Focus on Anglican Identity," www.gazette.ireland.anglican.org/10/22/2007.
- Christopher Howse, "Reformation Myths Exploded," The Tablet, 26 May 2012, 19
- Fourteen Catholic bishops appointed by Mary I were dismissed from their sees. "Elizabeth's Religious Settlement, planned meticulously by her chief ministers William Cecil and Nicholas Bacon and already drafted in the first weeks of her reign, made no significant concessions to Catholic opinion represented by the church hierarchy and much of the nobility. There was no question of offering it for inspection by the overwhelming Catholic clerical assemblies, the Convocations of Canterbury and York, and if parliamentary legislation faced still opposition from the Catholic majority in the House of Lords. This meant a delay until April 1559, when two Catholic bishops were arrested on trumped-up charges and the loss of their parliamentary votes resulted in a tiny majority for the government's bills in the house of Lords." MacCulloch, p. 280.
- 5 Eliz.1 c.1
- (Russell, Conrad, The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain, p. 281, Oxford University Press, 1996)
- 23 Eliz. c. 1 Penal Laws
- Peter Marshall, Heretics and Believers (New haven: Yale University Press, 2017), plate #19.
- Krista Kesselring, The Northern Rebellion of 1569: Faith, Politics, and Protest in Elizabethan England (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
- 35 Eliz. c. 2 Penal Laws
- Darrell Turner "Christian against Christian in 16th century England" National Catholic Reporter 16 September 2005, 13
- MacColloch, The Reformation, 361
- Peter Marshall, Heretics and Believers (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017), 572.
- Haigh, op.cit.P. 290
- Marshall, 576-77
- Jonas Barish, ed., Ben Jonson (Englewood Clifts: Prentice-Hall, 1963), 175.
- John Morrish writing on BBC production, "Baroque! From St. Peter's to St. Paul's" in Tablet 7 March 2009, 29.
- Kevin Phillips The Cousins' Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1999, 52–3. Phillips says this: "Religious historians beg off from stating firm numbers for either camp. If Puritans probably represented 10–20 percent of the national population, most of them still worshiping within the Church of England, Catholics were much harder to count. Open 'recusants' – Catholics who paid fines to avoid attending the Church of England – numbered sixty thousand in 1640. Many more, however, reluctantly attended services on Sunday with scowls or for as short a time as possible. The more identifiable of these were called 'Church Papists'; the less important, ordinary grumblers who merely talked of preferring the older ceremonies were uncountable. In the north and west, at least half the population outside the towns were Catholic to some degree. By this broad definition, Catholics would have numbered 10–15 percent of the total English population. Practicing Catholics, however, could not have been more than 2–3 percent. Catholicism survived most strongly among the nobility, of whom 15–20 percent clung to the old faith, including many leading magnates in an arc from Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire south to Derby, Worchestershire, and Hereforshire. However, even solidly Protestant East Anglian counties like Suffolk and Essex each had three, four, or a half-dozen aristocratic families holding to the religion of their forebears. This is perhaps one reason why the populace took Catholic 'plots' so seriously: What they called popery was especially visible among the powerful and influential."
- Also see: John Morrill's The Nature of the English Revolution (1993); Conrad Russell's The Causes of the English Civil War (1990); and Barry Coward's The Stuart Age 1994).
- Mieczysław Biskupski, The History of Poland, Greenwood 2000, p 14.
- Ole Peter Grell, Tolerance and Intolerance in the European Reformation, Cambridge University Press 2002, p 65.
- Ackroyd, 185.
- Works of John Dryden at Project Gutenberg
- Alan Taylor, American Colonies (New York: Viking, 2001), 278.
- The historian Diarmaid MacCulloch says this: "His [James II] replacement on the throne in 1688 by his Dutch son-in-law Willem of Orange was virtually bloodless because the whole English establishment [including the Church of England's Seven Bishops ] stood by and let it happen, earning the event the name of the Glorious Revolution. This happy title is a disguise for the fact that Willem was (so far) the last foreign ruler to lead a successful military invasion of England, and the English did nothing to stop it." Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York: Viking, 2004), 514.
- Also: Lisa Jardine, Going Dutch: how England plundered Holland's glory (New York: Harper Perennial, 2009). Her point: the "Glorious Revolution" amounted to a Dutch military takeover with English collaboration.
- John Burns, "British Monarchy Scraps Rule of Male Succession in New Step to Modernization," The New York Times, 28 October 2011.
- Marshall, 577.
- Christopher Howse "Christopher Howse's Presswatch" The Tablet 10 May 2008.
- Richard Alleyne and Harry de Quetteville "Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland" Telegraph 7 April 2008.
- Historian Antonia Fraser says this about the demographics at this time: "Estimates about the actual number of Catholics vary, as any estimate of a body practicing a religion forbidden by the law of the country must inevitably do. There were probably about 70,000 to 80,000 British Catholics in the 1770s, out of a population of seven million...." Antonia Fraser, The King and the Catholics (New York: Doubleday, 2018), 24.
- Fraser, 25.
- Fraser, 26,27.
- Fraser, 32.
- Fraser, 25-6.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link): John Carroll
- Taylor, 429–433.
- Ned C. Landsman, "The Provinces and the Empire: Scotland, the American Colonies and the Development of British Provincial Identity", in Lawrence Stone, ed., An Imperial State at War: Britain from 1689 to 1815 (New York: Routledge, 1994), 258–87.
- Elusive Empires: Constructing Colonialism in the Ohio Valley, 1673–1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
- La Salle and His Legacy: Frenchmen and Indians in the Lower Mississippi Valley (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982).
- Fraser, 24–34
- Garry Wills, "On Reading Pope's Homer" New York Times Review (1 June 1997), 22
- Christopher Martin A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales (London: English Heritage, 2007)
- "An enigma wrapped in a cowl", The Tablet, 17/24 December 2005, 8
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link): Maria Fitzherbert
- Richard Abbott, "Brighton's unofficial queen" The Tablet, 1 September 2007, 12–13.
- Aidan Bellenger, "Left foot forward", The Tablet, 10 October 2009, 24. Also see: Gabriel Glickman, The English Catholic Community 1688–1745: politics, culture and ideology (London: Boydell & Brewer, 2009)
- Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 432–434. ISBN 0-300-11547-4
- Michael Wheeler, The Old Enemies: Catholic and Protestant in nineteenth-century English Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
- Grace Donovan "An American Catholic in Victorian England: Louisa, Duchess of Leeds, and the Carroll Family Benefice", Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 84, No. 3, Fall, 1898, 223–234.
- Wellington to Hervey, 3 July 1817, Leeds papers, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.
- Charles Carroll to Mary Caton, 28 January 1789; to Louisa, 19 September 1803, Carroll Microfilm.
- John Carroll to Charles Carroll, 15 July 1800, Caroll papers, Ms. 216, Maryland Historical Society.
- Donovan, 226
- William James Gordon-Gorman, Converts to Rome: a biographical list of the more notable converts to the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom (1910) online
- George Marshall, George. "Two Autobiographical Narratives of Conversion: Robert Hugh Benson and Ronald Knox." British Catholic History 24.2 (1998): 237–253.
- Adrian Hastings, A History of English Christianity: 1920–1985 (1986) p 279.
- David, Newsome, The Convert Cardinals: John Henry Newman and Henry Edward Manning (1993).
- C.D.A. Leighton, "Thomas Allies, John Henry Newman and Providentialist History." History of European Ideas 38.2 (2012): 248–265.
- Abigail Frymann "Emancipator and Sons", Tablet 24 March 2007, 6–7
- Saho Matsumoto-Best (2003). Britain and the Papacy in the Age of Revolution, 1846–1851. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 137–70. ISBN 9780861932658.
- Adrian Turner, "Taking up arms", The Tablet, 9 September 1989, 1027
- Isabel de Bertodano "Bill demands end to anti-Catholic laws", The Tablet, 24 February 2007, 36
- Encyclopædia Britannica. Statistics are for "full members of certain churches in England and Wales." The 1929 edition records 2,294,000 Anglicans, 1,939,700 other Protestants (Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, etc.), 1,930,000 Catholics, and "about 300,000" Jews. The 1953 edition records 3,186,093 Anglicans, 2,528,200 Catholics, 1,709,245 other Protestants, and "about 400,000" Jews.
- Duffy, Eamon (11 September 2010). "Pope visit: A visit that reflects our changing times". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Vocation Statistics 2015" (PDF). ukvocation.org. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Spiritual shepherds fail to flock to rural parishes (Subscribe to read)". Financial Times.
- Patricia Lefevere "The faith of Tony Blair" The Catholic Reporter 6 March 2009, 11
- Catherine Pepinster, "Britain's Top 100 Lay Catholics", The Tablet, 18 March 2006, 25–32.
- John Jolliffe, ed., English Catholic Heroes London: Gracewing Publishing, 2008 ISBN 0-85244-604-7
- "Red-Capet Catholic" The Tablet 28 February 2009, 18
- Sigrid Undset, Stages on the Road (Notre Dame: Christian Classics/Ave Maria Press, 2012); Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1948) or in the New American Library paperback.
- Peter Stanford, "Himself alone," The Tablet, 26 October 2019 www.thetablet.co.uk
- "Ut unum sint", The Tablet 6 May 2006, 18
- Thomas Norton, "When is a martyr a traitor?" The Tablet 25 October 2008, 16–17.
- "Just good friends", The Tablet, 28 February 2009, 18.
- "The Cardinal Hume Centre".
- "Mass in Support of Migrant Workers". Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- For a general study in this area, see Nicholas Schofield and Gerard Skinner, The English Cardinals (London: Family Publications, 2007)
- Michael Walsh Westminster Cardinals London: Burns & Oates, 2009 ISBN 0-86012-459-2
- Elena Curti and Christopher Lamb, "Cathedral countdown to installation", The Tablet, 16 May 2009, 39.
- Lucy Wooding, "Binding Identities," The Tablet, 26 June 2011, 26
- " Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols is made cardinal," The Telegraph, 22 February 2014
- "Over 3,500 adults received into the Church in England and Wales – CatholicHerald.co.uk". The Catholic Herald.
- Richard Ormrod, "Mixed Blessings", The Tablet, 15 October 2011.
- "Ordinariate liturgy will have Anglican flavour", The Tablet, 21 May 2011.
- Abigail Frymann, "Passionate perfectionist", The Tablet, 23 April 2011.
- "Ex-Anglican appointed to East Anglia", The Tablet, 15 June 2013, p. 30.
- "A million more Catholics in England and Wales, according to poll". archive.is. 7 November 2009. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "The Catholic Vote in Britain Helped Carry Blair To Victory". Ipsos MORI. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
There are considerable regional variations, of course, Catholics being most widespread in London, Scotland and particularly the North-West (where one in five is Catholic)
- Cheney, David M. "Great Britain, Statistics by Diocese, by Catholic Population [Catholic-Hierarchy]".
- Kevin Phillips, The Cousins' Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 480–84. Phillips notes: "The subjugation [of the Irish] of the seventeenth century was almost complete.... During the first quarter of the eighteenth century [after the Treaty of Union], Catholic bishops were banned and priests required to register. Catholics lost their right to vote, hold office, own a gun or a horse worth more than 5 pounds, or live in towns without paying special fees... Once again the Irish were pushed west to poorer lands, an exodus that prefigured the disposition of the American Indians over the next two centuries."
- Starr, Kelsey Jo (19 December 2018). "Fact Tank – Our Lives in Numbers December 19, 2018 5 facts about Catholics in Europe". pewresaerch.org. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Polish & Catholic Missionary Dating". Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- "Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales For Polish Catholics in England and Wales". directory.cbcew.org.uk. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- Polish Bishops may loosen grip on British mission churches – The Tablet, 26 January 2008
- Polish anger mounts over cardinal's criticism – The Tablet, 22/29 December 2007
- Britain's Polish immigrants 'are abandoning faith' – Catholic Herald, 31 December 2007
- "The Ground of Justice" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- "Francis Davis". Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- "Von Hügel Institute". Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
- The Ground of Justice: The report of a pastoral research enquiry into the needs of migrants in London's Catholic community. Commissioned by the Diocese of Westminster, the Archdiocese of Southwark and the Diocese of Brentwood Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Von Hügel Institute, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge Archived 16 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 2007
- John Bingham (3 November 2016). "Cardinal's apology to mothers over babies handed over for adoption". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- "The Augustine Camino (Rochester to Ramsgate)".
- Peter Ackroyd Albion: The origins of the English Imagination (New York: Anchor Random, 2002) ISBN 0-385-49773-3
- Virginia Blanton Signs of Devotion: The Cult of St. AEthelthryth in Medieval England, 695–1615 (University Park: Penn State University, 2007) ISBN 0-271-02984-6
- Michael Burleigh Sacred Causes (New York: HarperCollins, 2007) ISBN 978-0-06-058095-7
- Thomas Clancy, S.J., English Catholic Books, 1641–1700 (Cambridge: Scolar Press, 1996) ISBN 1-85928-329-2
- Thomas Clancy, S.J., English Catholic Books, 1701–1800 (Cambridge: Scolar Press, 1996) ISBN 1-85928-148-6
- Eamon Duffy The Voices of Morebath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) ISBN 0-300-09825-1
- Eamon Duffy Marking the Hours: English People and their Prayers 1240–1570 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007) ISBN 0-300-11714-0
- Eamon Duffy Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) Excellent for background and policies of Cardinal Pole. ISBN 0-300-15216-7
- Mark Turnham Elvins, Old Catholic England (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1978)
- Antonia Fraser Mary Queen of Scots (New York: Delta Random, 1993) ISBN 978-0-385-31129-8
- Howard Esksine-Hill Alexander Pope: World and Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1998) ISBN 0-19-726170-1
- Gordon-Gorman, William James. Converts to Rome: a biographical list of the more notable converts to the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom (1910) online.
- Greenblatt, Stephen. Will in the World (New York: W.W.Norton, 2004) ISBN 0-393-05057-2
- John Guy A Daughter's Love: Thomas and Margaret More (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) 0618499156
- Alana Harris Faith in the Family: a lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82 (Manchester: University of Manchester:2014)
- Roy Hattersley The Catholics (Chatto and Windus, 2017) NSBN-10: 178474152
- Clare Haynes Pictures and Popery: Art and Religion in England, 1660–1760 (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006) ISBN 0-7546-5506-7
- Robert Hutchinson House of Treason: the Rise and Fall of the Tudor Dynasty (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2009) ISBN 0-297-84564-0
- Emilia Jamroziak and Janet Burton, eds. Religious and Laity in Western Europe, 1000–1400 (Europa Scra 2.Turnhout: Brepols, 2006)
- Julie Kerr Monastic Hospitality: Benedictines in England, c.1070-c.1250, Studies in the history of Medieval Religion 32. (Woodbridge, U.K.: Boydell, 2007) ISBN 1-84725-161-7
- K.J.Kesselring The Northern Rebellion of 1569: Faith, Politics, and Protest in Elizabethan England (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007) ISBN 978-0-230-55319-4
- Peter Lake and Michael Questier The Trials of Margaret Clitherow: Persecution, Martyrdom and the Politics of Sanctity in Elizabethan England (Bloomsbury, 2011)
- Peter Marshall Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England (London: Ashgate, 2006) ISBN 0-7546-5390-0
- Peter Marshall and Alex Ryrie, Eds The Beginnings of English Protestantism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) ISBN 978-0-521-80274-1
- Thomas McCoog And Touching Our Society: Jesuit Identity in Elizabethan England ISBN 978-0-88844-183-6
- Goeffrey Moorhouse The Pilgrimage of Grace: the Rebellion that Shook Henry VIII's Throne (London: Weidenfeld and Moorhouse, 2003) ISBN 978-1-84212-666-0
- Hazel Pierce Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473–1541: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership (University of Wales Press, 2009) ISBN 0-7083-2189-5
- Linda Porter The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary" (New York: St. Martin Press, 2008) ISBN 0-312-36837-2
- Michael C. Questier Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England: Politics, Aristocratic Patronage and Religion, c.1550–1640 Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). This re-evaluates post-Reformation Catholicism through windows of the wider Catholic community in England and through aristocratic patronage. ISBN 0-521-06880-0
- John Saward, John Morrill, and Michael Tomko (eds), Firmly I Believe and Truly: The spiritual tradition of Catholic England 1483–1999 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011).
- Karen Stober Late Medieval Monasteries and their Patrons: England and Wales, c.1300–1540 Studies in the History of Medieval Religion. (Woodbridge, U.K.: Boydell, 2007) ISBN 1-84383-284-4
- Charles E. Ward The Life of John Dryden (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1961) B00IUBM07U
- James Anderson Winn John Dryden and His World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987) ISBN 978-0-300-02994-9
- Beck, George Andrew, ed. The English Catholics, 1850–1950 (1950), scholarly essays
- Corrin, Jay P. Catholic Progressives in England After Vatican II (University of Notre Dame Press; 2013) 536 pages;
- Dures, Alan. English Catholicism, 1558–1642: Continuity and Change (1983)
- Glickman, Gabriel. The English Catholic Community 1688–1745: politics, culture and ideology (2009)
- Harris, Alana. Faith in the Family: A Lived Religious History of English Catholicism, 1945–1982 (2013); the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer
- Heimann, Mary. Catholic Devotion in Victorian England (1995) online
- Hughes, Philip. The Catholic Question, 1688–1829: A Study in Political History (1929)
- McClain, Lisa. "On a Mission: Priests, Jesuits," Jesuitresses," and Catholic Missionary Efforts in Tudor-Stuart England." Catholic Historical Review 101.3 (2015): 437–462.
- McClelland, Vincent Alan. Cardinal Manning: the Public Life and Influences, 1865–1892 (1962)
- Mathew, David. Catholicism in England: the portrait of a minority: its culture and tradition (1955)
- Mourret, Fernand. History of the Catholic Church (8 vol, 1931) comprehensive history to 1878. country by country. online free; by French Catholic priest.
- Mullet, Michael. Catholics in Britain and Ireland, 1558–1829 (1998) 236pp
- Watkin, E. I Roman Catholicism in England from the Reformation to 1950 (1957)
- Mullet, Michael. English Catholicism, 1680–1830 (2006) 2714 pages
- Newman, John Henry. Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England (University of Notre Dame Press, 2000) 585pp; based on 6th edition of 1889
- The Catholic Church in England and Wales
- English Catholic History Association
- The Catholic Record Society
- Taking Stock: Catholic Churches
- Who Were the Nuns?