By Herman Bakvis
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Additional info for Catholic Power in the Netherlands
In the early post-Reformation period this was achieved through the means of the so-called underground churches; much later, organizations were developed to ensure that Catholics had no need to interact with non-Catholics in social and cultural spheres. The idea that Catholics were an oppressed minority who needed to be emancipated became an important element in the ideology. In the early part of the nineteenth century liberal Catholics hoped to achieve a degree of equality not only for the Catholic church but also for individual Catholics.
For example, Dutch Catholics, especially in the south of the Netherlands, like their brethren in the latin countries, celebrate carnival, a week-long period of festivities in February. Gadourek discovered that the Catholics of Sassenheim indulged in card-playing and dancing more often than their Protestant counterparts. 26 These findings are again confirmed by the 1956 nationwide survey. 2 shows the responses to questions concerning recreational activities. A number of contrasts are evident, particularly in the attitudes of Catholics and Calvinists toward card-playing, chess, dancing, and watching sports events, which may indicate differences in life-styles.
From the rest of Dutch society. And the differences that do exist would not by themselves support the development of a highly institutionalized subculture without the help of additional factors. With slight exaggeration one could say that the only obvious distinction between Catholics and non-Catholics has been, and still is, the fact that Catholics of both sexes wear their wedding ring on the left hand while other Dutch people wear theirs on the right hand. Thus the ethnic dimension of Catholicism in the Netherlands is rather weak.
Catholic Power in the Netherlands by Herman Bakvis