Catholic Maryland

Catholic Maryland 3 Maryland, named for both the Virgin Mary and Queen Henrietta Maria, was established as a Catholic colony by George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, in 1632. The decision to allow Maryland to be settled as a Catholic colony was in part achieved because King Charles I had married a Roman Catholic. Lord Baltimore was a man devoted to his faith, converting to Catholicism despite the fact that in 1625, Parliament had decreed that Catholics could not aspire to positions of authority. This did not dissuade Lord Baltimore from pursuing the establishment of a colony that protected Catholicism. In fact, he secured the charter in the face of substantial opposition. Hoping to populate the colony with English Catholics, he granted each of sixty feudal manors 3,000 acres. Though Lord Baltimore died before he could set sail, Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, took up his father’s dream. In 1633, the first shipload of Catholic gentlemen-adventurers departed London for Maryland. On board the Ark and the Dove were Leonard Calvert, lieutenant governor and brother to the second Lord Baltimore, and George Calvert, youngest brother to Leonard and Cecilius. Lord Baltimore was deemed proprietor of the province of Maryland. As such, he received all profits and had the power to appoint officials. Jealous of sharing authority, he decreed that Jesuit missions could not own land. In 1659, he ordered coins to be struck that bore his likeness on one side, his family’s arms and motto on the other: Increase and multiply. This currency became legal tender throughout Maryland. Lord Baltimore also extended religious protection to non-Catholics. This staunch belief in the separation of faith and politics was clearly written into Maryland’s provisional government’s charter, where Catholics and Protestants were instructed to not give offense to one another in matters of religion. Although there is evidence that a Tolerance Act was passed in Maryland as early as1635, in 1649, at St. Mary’s City, Maryland’s General Assembly enacted a formal Act Concerning Religion. It stated no person or persons whatsoever within this province professing to believe in Jesus Christ shall from this day forth be in any ways troubled, molested, or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion, nor in the free exercise thereof. The religious tolerance promulgated in Maryland was an early forerunner of the constitutional principles later established by America’s founding fathers. Another factor unique to Maryland was its constitutional provision the first of its kind stating that laws within the province had to be of and with the advise, assent, and approbation of the free-men of the said Province, or the greater part of them, or of their delegates or deputies. The category of freemen encompassed all adult males not bound by slavery or indenture, and this included Mathias de Sousa, a black man once indentured who not only voted but also served in the General Assembly. Rhode Island was another haven for religious nonconformists for many years. Roger Williams’s community of Providence, along with the communities of Portsmouth and Newport, was dedicated to religious tolerance. Under Rhode Island’s constitution of 1647, church membership was not a requirement for voting, something almost every other colony demanded. The royal charter of 1663 characterized the smallest American colony as a ship with a mixed passenger list of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. Another unique principle included the notions of initiative, referendum, and recall of officers. Unfortunately, it was not long before this environment of tolerance within the colonies changed. Lord Baltimore’s dream of a safe haven for Catholics turned nightmarish in 1654 when the Protestant majority passed a law keeping Catholics from worshiping according to their traditions. An insurgent band marched into Maryland’s capital city of St. Mary’s and took over the assembly, leaving Lord Baltimore only his property rights. The new capital moved to Protestant Anne Arundel now known as Annapolis. Persecutions continued throughout 1655 and 1656. Puritans, aided by Virginians, attacked Catholic colonists in Maryland. Three captives were shot; others, including several priests, surrendered and were imprisoned. They were labeled imposters, and all of their personal property was either confiscated or destroyed. Reign of William and Mary In 1689, after the accession of William and Mary to the English throne, hatred continued to mount against Catholics. In Rhode Island, Catholics were disenfranchised in 1729, and Jews were denied the right to naturalization. Newport later came to represent the center of the thriving slave trade rather than a center for tolerance. Outside Maryland, the largest population of Catholics settled in and around Philadelphia. But because Catholics numbered only 25,000 in 1776, equaling 1 percent of the colonial population, Rome did not appoint an American Roman Catholic bishop until after the Revolutionary War. In contrast, Congregationalists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians constituted approximately 62 percent of the colonial population. Unchurched slaves accounted for another 22.6 percent. The Reverend John Carroll, a Jesuit priest and founder of Georgetown University, was consecrated as the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States in 1790. He later became archbishop of Baltimore. (Brown Brothers, Sterling, Pennsylvania) On the heels of the Revolutionary War, a new wave of anti-Catholicism spread throughout America. Protestant loyalists, fearful of a French alliance because France was a Catholic monarchy, began publishing and distributing anti-Catholic literature. One such piece of literature a satirical, fictitious diary prophesied horrible events to come. It appeared in Rivington’s Royal Gazette on March 19, 1779. It wasn’t until August 15, 1790, that John Carroll, a former Jesuit priest, was consecrated the first Roman Catholic bishop in America by Pope Pius VI. Carroll, who also founded Georgetown University in 1789, became the first archbishop of Baltimore in 1808. Gail L. Jenner See also: Bible; Charles V; Christ and Christianity; Dominicans; Franciscans; James II; Jesuits; Mary I; Maryland; Maryland (Chronology); Missions; Religion (Chronology); Religion (Essay); Document: Maryland Toleration Act (1649). Bibliography Amos, Gary, and Richard Gardner. Never Before in History: America’s Inspired Birth. Dallas, TX: Haughton, 1998. Bailey, Thomas A., and David M. Kennedy, eds. The American Spirit: United States History as Seen by Contemporaries. 8th ed. 2 vols. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1994. “Two Acts of Toleration: 1649 and 1826.” St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Annapolis, Maryland I’m a girl and … Mapq8History of Maryland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Mapq8Lewis & Sukley’s Wedding Ceremony – St. Christopher’s Catholic … Mapq8

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