Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Newman Anniversary

Today, the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, is also the anniversary of the death of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. This year's anniversary takes on a special significance because of the announcement of Cardinal Newman's beatification next year. I sincerely hope 'The Tablet/Bitter Pill' doesn't get its way and have the beatification turn into an absurd Anglicanfest, pretending that Newman really "didn't believe in all that conversion to the true Church business."

Father Rutler sent me an interesting email with the report from The Times (of London, of course) for August 12th. 1890. Although the tone of the report speaks of his greatness, it is interesting to note that the theme of the report is that Newman, great as he was, may not have been that influential..... "For the present a mighty man has fallen, yet we are much as we were."

"The truth is that the great Cardinal has occupied so exceptional a place in human affairs that, while he has largely influenced them, he has had himself to discover and even to recognize that they could go on without him...........Forty years have now shown that the Church of England can pursue its course without his guidance or his warnings; still more have they shown that it is not such men the Church of Rome most trusts and employs." One might almost say that was a Tabletesque hatchet job! Yet there is a line of prophecy which goes to show that the object of yesterdays hatchet job is, nearly 120 years later, going to be England's next Beati - and possibly a Doctor of the Church in good time: "It was his own choice to be Athanasius contra mundum. Whether from his ashes will arise the avenger, to do for him the work he has not seen done with his own eyes, and so reverse the judgment of time, is beyond even conjecture." Is it?

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