Wednesday, September 02, 2009

South Wales: Monmouthshire: Perthîr

THE OLD REGISTER BOOK OF THE CATHOLIC MISSION OF PERTHÎR
IN THE PARISH OF ROCKFIELD AND COUNTY OF MONMOUTH
1758 TO 1799

South Wales: Monmouthshire: Perthîr: "The County of Mounmouth, and especially the north-eastern half of the shire, is remarkable for the fidelity with which its inhabitants clung to the Catholic Church throughout the penal times. The Calvanistic Methodist movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which tardily but effectually protestantized Wales as a whole, left almost untouched the Cambro-British or Silurian population of Gwent and the Celtic part of Herefordshire. Here, therefore, we have the only instance of a people who, though Welsh by race, are not Puritan in religion.

It is necessary to add that, since the date of Catholic Emancipation, the Church has greatly lost ground in this her ancient stronghold. This loss is due to the extinction of the old Catholic families of gentry, to the submersion of the yeomen and, still more, to the enormous emigration of the original peasantry, consequent upon the decay of agriculture. Truth compels one to say that apathy and a failure of the old missionary spirit have largely contributed to the 'leakage'. Perhaps, also, man values less a treasure of which no one seeks to forcibly deprive him, than one the possession whereof is perilous to his liberty and life."

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