intense dislike or fear of Catholicism, hostility or prejudice towards Catholics
Anti-Catholicism is hostility towards Catholics or opposition to the Catholic Church, its clergy and its adherents. At various points after the Reformation, some majority Protestant states, including England, Prussia, and Scotland made anti-Catholicism and opposition to the Pope and Catholic rituals major political themes, and the anti-Catholic sentiment which resulted from it frequently lead to religious discrimination against Catholic individuals (often derogatorily referred to in Anglophone Protestant countries as "papists" or "Romanists"). Historian John Wolffe identifies four types of anti-Catholicism: constitutional-national, theological, popular and socio-cultural.Historically, Catholics who lived in Protestant countries were frequently suspected of conspiring against the state in furtherance of papal interests. Support for the alien pope led to allegations that they lacked loyalty to the state. In majority Protestant countries with large scale immigration, such as the United States and Australia, suspicion of Catholic immigrants or discrimination against them often overlapped or was conflated with nativism, xenophobia, and ethnocentric or racist sentiments (i.e. anti-Italianism, anti-Irish sentiment, Hispanophobia, anti-Quebec sentiment, anti-Polish sentiment).
In the Early modern period, the Catholic Church struggled to maintain its traditional religious and political role in the face of rising secular powers in Catholic countries. As a result of these struggles, a hostile attitude towards the considerable political, social, spiritual and religious power of the Pope and the clergy arose in the form of anti-clericalism. The Inquisition was a favorite target of attack. Anti-clerical forces gained strength after 1789 in some primarily Catholic nations, such as France, Spain and Mexico. Political parties formed that expressed a hostile attitude towards the considerable political, social, spiritual and religious power of the Catholic Church in the form of anti-clericalism, attacks on the power of the pope to name bishops, and international orders, especially the Jesuits.
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main subject: Anti-Catholicism2
book by Alma Bridwell White