Northern Catholicism and Celtic Catholicism

This comment just came in from Stephen K in Australia following my posts

I thought yours a wonderfully concise summary of the differences between Northern and Southern Catholicism, Father. What I want to know now is where, in your opinion, does, for want of a better term, “Celtic Catholicism” fit? As a subset of Northern or of Southern Catholicism, or as a separate cultivar, or as not a distinct variety at all? I am inclined to think it is a distinct cultivar, but I’d be interested to know what you think and why.

I noticed parallels between the movement of St Francis of Assisi and various more radical dissident movements in the thirteenth century. Much as the Celts seemed to eschew institutionalisation and wealth, I don’t see an organic connection between the two. “Southern” Catholicism would seem to represent the work of the Apostles in the Mediterranean Basin, and “Northern” Catholicism would seem to have been influenced by both the Celtic and Roman traditions (and the old Gallicans), but I’m only guessing.

In the absence of time to do any research, I throw the question open to readers and see if anyone can come up with ideas.

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1 Response to Northern Catholicism and Celtic Catholicism

  1. John says:

    I think anyone with an interest in Celtic Christianity needs to take on board Ian Bradley’s ideas as expressed in ‘Celtic Christianity – Making Myths and Chasing Dreams’ (Edinburgh University Press, 1999). The Celts may have ‘seemed to eschew institutionalisation and wealth’, but that was because they lived in a part of the world where establishing strong, stable institutions was unusually difficult, and they certainly had no principled objection to wealth accumulation.

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