Only accession to the throne remains as an impediment to full participation in public life for in England today Catholics today, whereas 400 years ago it was a treasonable offence to celebrate or attend Mass, punishable by the death penalty. Fr Doolan gives a summary of the main clauses of the several Catholic Relief Acts which passed into British law between 1788 and 1976, together with the background leading to these changes in legislation. He details successively the First Catholic Relief Act of 1788, the Second of 1791, the Third of 1829, and further acts of 1926 and 1976. A fascinating insight into the legal restrictions on Catholics in England which held for over 200 years after the Reformation, and only gradually diminished during the next 200.
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