The Fisher Who Fished for Men, and Died for It, by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, JulY 23, 2020

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

Among many things I have lost over the thirty-seven years since I was a professor at Christendom College are the lecture notebooks for my various classes in history and apologetics. For a few topics, from which I made a now extinct set of video lectures in the early days of Trinity Communications, I still have specific outlines and notes that I had typed into a computer. But too much of the knowledge I once had at my fingertips is lost.

Among those lost items is the record of questions asked of parish clergy during an Anglican episcopal visitation in sixteenth-century England. Most of the clergy at mid-century would have been former Catholic priests. The questions were designed to assess how well-trained and well-educated these now-Anglican priests were, and so how fitted to carry out their responsibilities. Again, I have lost the details, but I recall that a large percentage could not enumerate the Ten Commandments and a smaller but significant percentage could not name the author of “the Lord’s prayer”.  …

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