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The Roman Catholic Church or the Mother Church believed itself to be the original Church of Christ from which others had split off, including to great success the Protestant Believes. It ignored the fact Judaism was an older faith of the book, and Islam did not split off but consisted of something entirely new.
Home to the Church was Rome, or to be more precise the Vatican. Most important priests in the 17th century spend at least part of their time in Rome and were more often than not Italian or Spanish, to a lesser degree French or Portuguese.
- The leader of the Catholic Church is the Pope, who has his holy seat in Rome, in the Vatican.
- The Pope, and Catholic Doctrine, is infallible
- The Bible consists of 73 books, where as Protestants hold to only 66 books (the difference being in extra works in the New Testament)
- The Catholic Church maintains seven sacraments instead of two.These are Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance (Confession), Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. Sacraments are important visible rituals which Catholics see as effective channels of God's grace to all those who receive them with the proper disposition (ex opere operato).
- The Catholic Church maintains that the wine and bread during the Eucharist turns into the actual blood and body of Christ.
- Catholic Doctrine focuses upon Satan or the Antichrist as the epithomy of evil (where as Protestantism concentrates on the evil within the sinner rather than an outside figure).
Blessing of children
In Catholicism, a father was able and expected to bless his child and have this blessing be an interim protection of the child between blessings by a priest. The idea was that a child blessed by his father was also blessed by God as God gave this power to parents in the bible. Blessings were generally done at least twice daily when a child was residing in the house: before sleeping and before leaving the house. It was not uncommon for a child to be blessed on their knees before every coming and going. The more frequent in the day the blessings were, the shorter they would be. Blessing were proceeded by confession to the father of any sins or wrong-doing committed since the last blessing. In Catholicism, a confession to a priest could not happen before a confession to a father if they were living. Children were not to hide anything from their parents and priests often reinforced the idea of the special bond and duties between a child and their parents. Blessings also protected a child in case they died overnight or during their day. Parents had the same rights as a priest in blessing their children, the precise same power, without being able to give sacraments (obviously).
See also: Blessings_and_Parents
Attitudes towards Catholics
While most of England's populace and certainly the members of the House of Commons were predominantly protestant, at Court there was a far greater tolerance of Catholics and many nobles were in fact Catholic, among them the Duke of York and many of the Kings Mistresses.
Catholics were accused of obeying Rome above King and Parliament. In the public memory was the persecution of Protestants by Catholic Queen 'Bloody' Mary, and the Catholic treason of the Gunpowder Plot. They are also associated with magic, a subject that caused deep fears in the 17th century because it was outside the control of Reason.
The Whigs especially are in our game period involved with an almost outright crusade against Catholics. Through the Test Act Catholic lords are forbidden from taking public office.
Catholicism as a Challenge
This is a major challenge because it adversely affects the way people view you, as well as being a problem if you hope to get along in politics. Whigs will consider themselves your enemy. Ladies will likely only marry within their own religion. Sometimes mobs might even threaten you.