This article examines John Wesley's anti-Catholicism and his hostility to ‘popery’ on theological, social, and political grounds. The subject is related to wider attitudes to the Catholic minority and its faith in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland. The article stresses the complexity of Wesley's thinking, thinking which ranged from his admiration for some post-Reformation Catholic figures to his abhorrence of a Church that he feared imperilled the souls of its adherents. It further investigates various germane topics, such as the response of Catholics to early Methodism and Wesley's involvement in the events that culminated in the Gordon riots of 1780.

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