Rituals such as the Quarant’ Ore, devotions to the Virgin Mary, the renewal
of baptismal vows, frequent communion and jubilant processions with lights
and banners were the outward signs of Catholicism and reflected continental
influences that were not favoured by ‘Old Catholics’. Men like Henry
Manning, John Henry Newman and W.G. Ward, converts from the Anglican
Church, enhanced the intellectual capital of English Roman Catholics, whose
theological rigour was considered defunct and derelict.46
While these are broad categorisations, they are requisite to
, declared that:
The middle classes, till now almost neglected in England, form the mass and
staple of our society, are the ‘higher class’ of our great congregations out of the
capital, have to provide us with our priesthood, our confraternities, and our
Middle- and upper-class young women who attended boarding schools were
considered suitable candidates for religious life.130
126 Walsh, 2002, p. 172.
127 RLR: Mother Imelda, ‘Sevenoaks’.
128 The Life of Madame de Bonnault d’Houët: Foundress of the Society of the
Faithful Companions of Jesus (Dublin
experiences and power and has noted that ‘upper middle-class women
cooperated and participated with men to achieve control managing the
cultural capital that secured their own pre-eminence and authority in contrast
to both the working class and the lower-middle classes’.77 This aspect of
power pertained to religious communities as well, and it was most clearly
seen in congregations with a lay-choir dichotomy. Choir sisters used their
status and their class to uphold their power in the congregation. Their
dominance was reflected in the ways in which the lay
Religious sisters and nuns, known collectively as women religious, 1 have always operated in a liminal place in church and popular culture. Nuns for centuries maintained a spiritual capital that gave them a special role in the life of the Catholic Church. Though some individual abbesses may have wielded significant power, women religious were never canonically members of the clergy. They had, however, in popular understanding, a ‘higher calling’. 2 Through the institutions they managed, female religious had enormous influence in shaping generations of
, given her cohort, they often reference the excitement of the foreign missions, a theme not mentioned often in my interviews. She also describes parental responses as ‘ambiguous’ but mentions the symbolic capital of having a daughter in religious life in Ireland. McKenna, Made Holy , pp. 55–71.
66 Anonymised interview. According to Tranter, Irish parents were likely to protest when their daughters were sent to faraway missions to North America and Australia. Janice Tranter , ‘ The Irish Dimension of an Australian Religious Sisterhood: The Sisters of Saint
visible than when they had managed large-scale institutions. 135 In the process they went from conversion and salvation to creating active, informed citizens; and whether in foreign missions like Peru or in Catholic schoolrooms, they sought to build ‘social capital’: networks, confidence, skills and knowledge.
Journalist George Scott, in his 1967 report on ‘R.C.s’ explained that ‘Roman Catholics, as a community, are only just starting to catch up with the idea of social action’. 136 By the 1970s and 1980s, despite diminishing numbers women religious
be governed capitally under the one that is notionally God.
37 The relationship between priest and monarch
i) On the Office of the King , ch. 6 (extract).
Latin text: De Officio Regis , pp. 137–44.
Wyclif here offers a focused examination of the relationship between regal and ecclesiastical power. In what is presented as a response to a hypothetical objection raised against him, he challenges the opinion, articulated in the second and the third parts of the