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The catholic mirage

The crisis in the anglican church has brought a windfall of converts and public esteem to the catholic church. But Madeleine Bunting argues that catholics are just as embattled and divided over how to combat secularism

By Madeleine Bunting   December 1996

After centuries contending with low level anti-papist sentiment, the Roman Catholic church in Britain is basking in public acclaim. What is more surprising for this secular age, it is even enjoying a certain kudos. The Independent notes a “current craze for catholicism,” attributing it to a “loss of confidence with England’s national church” and a “dearth of anglican thinkers.” The Guardian estimates that “the game is going very much Rome’s way” and that the “loss of confidence in the Church of England has become palpable… it is enfeebled as an institution and failing to provide moral firmness, ritual and sense…

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