By Herman Bakvis
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It was not really needed; provision of a set of rules and expectations appears to have been sufficient. Although many priests were not always happy with the rules of the church, for the most part they obediently carried out their duties. When asked if they ever tried to experiment with the mass or to challenge the authority of the church, most priests responded in a negative fashion. " "You could think about it, but actually doing it? " "If you did ever try to do anything they [the bishops] would soon find out about it and you would be sure of getting rapped across the knuckles" (Interviews 8, 21, and 23 respectively).
Nevertheless large pockets of Catholicism remained. " Why these substantial blocs of the population remained loyal to the Catholic church is a question on which there is considerable disagreement among historians. One explanation has it that where there was a "worthy" priest, who could command respect and loyalty from his parishioners, the community remained loyal. 35 Other explanations place more stress on the apparatus of the church. Thus Jan Rogier notes that in those areas where the church had succeeded in reorganizing itself after the Reformation, the population remained Catholic.
It would have been much too dangerous. (Interview 17) The manner in which the clergy were recruited and educated contributed to their loyal and rigorous behaviour.
Catholic Power in the Netherlands by Herman Bakvis