Most people in England have been raised to accept, in part or in full, an anti-Catholic prejudice that does not stand up to serious academic scrutiny. We might think of the widespread but slanted view of reformation history, in which the English are supposed to have chosen the protestant option with glee, when the reality is that it was enforced brutally by the crown under point of a sword and threat of bankruptcy.
Or we might think of how Catholicism is often upheld as being a “foreign” thing. “The Italian mission to the Irish” is the nonsense spouted..when it was of course English Catholicism, working in unity with Rome, that built our beautiful Saxon and Norman churches and Cathedrals, founded our greatest Universities and the Parliament that went on to persecute it! That we choose to pretend the cuckoo in the nest is in fact the body it ejected is another example of fanciful history that exists to suit an agenda rather than tell the truth. Hence they will say Justin Welby is the 107th successor to Augustine and not the 37th since Cramner.
And then of course there is the Inquisition seen as clear evidence that Catholicism was ever a cruel and wicked thing. The accusation being that the Catholic Church had many tortured and murdered. But even this historic claim is based on bigotry not fact. So I am very grateful to the BBC for having produced the programme above which blasts the theory of the Inquisition out of the water. Do watch it. The bottom line is this…it never actually happened.
None of us can be pleased that the nation is abandoning its Christian heritage to buy into a secularism founded on atheism. But an unintended positive consequence of that is that sectarianism is therefore dying and old national lies are washed away. The result being that historians are approaching evidence with a truly open mind, not with bios already in place, and so the truth is coming forth.
It does makes you wonder how much else we accept as fact in history is actually far removed from reality?