A slighlty abridged version of this article appeared in the February, 1998 issue of Culture Wars magazine.
A Cardinal writes a
On 30th July 1884 Cardinal Newman wrote a letter to
the Chief Inspector of the General Post Office in
Birmingham. It was addressed from the Oratory in the same
city, of which Newman was superior. In it he wrote in his
own hand as follows:
Cardinal Newman has been asked to recommend Mr.
William Louch for the office of letter carrier. He has
much pleasure in doing so, inasmuch as he has known him
from being in the choir since 1863, and he can certify
that he has always been a most respectable, trustworthy,
useful and punctual man1
Newman signed the letter "John Henry Cardinal Newman".
It cannot have been often in the history of the Post
Office that a man applying to be appointed as a postman
has obtained a reference from a cardinal of the Holy
Roman Church. History does not go on to record whether
William Louch got the job, but with a testimonial like
that the odds must have been heavily in his favour.2 Of
course, there was at that time much anti-Catholic
prejudice around, but the Cardinal was a well loved
public figure at this late stage of his life.
It is entirely in Newman's character that he should
write such a reference. Despite the many pressures he was
under throughout his life, his collected letters contain
not a few in which he remembers and takes care to deal
with matters which cannot have seemed of the front rank
in importance. And so J. W. Copeland, the benefactor who
for several years supplied the fathers of the Oratory
with their annual Christmas turkey, duly received each
year a personal letter of thanks.3 The generous ladies
who sent cakes (on the Feast of the founder of the
Oratorians, St. Philip Neri) and greengages were treated
likewise;4 whilst Newman never forgot to thank Jemima
Mozley, wife of his good friend from Oxford days, John
Mozley, for the regular gift of his favourite marmalade.5
In all, the 31 volumes of Newman's collected letters
and diaries contain a fund of information about the life
and times of the great cardinal and supply much testimony
to his utmost integrity.6 Friends whose relatives' deaths
had come to his notice (usually by way of the columns of
The Times newspaper) were invariably sent a note of
condolences and support. Individual achievements about
which he had been informed were frequently the subject of
a note to the fortunate person in question.
Although there are numerous examples of Newman's
generosity of spirit, it is true to say that not all his
correspondents were as fair to him in their turn. In
reality, Newman had quite a lot to put up with from not a
few of these people. For example, at regular intervals
rumours would sweep round that he was unhappy in the
Catholic Church and was about to return to Anglicanism.
Now, it has always been a matter of some debate as to
whether Newman's abilities were best used by Rome.
Certainly a strong argument can be mounted to say that
his treatment by certain official Catholic bodies left
much to be desired. However, there is not a shred of
evidence that he ever regretted leaving the Church of
England7 or thought of returning to his earlier
communion. In June 1862, after a whole series of
newspapers had speculated on his future, Newman was
forced to set the record straight.8 When one reads
reports in the papers of that time that Newman was
"living in Paris the unhappy life of a hopeless sceptic
and a notorious scoffer at the Catholic Religion",9 one
can understand the underlying frustration, and perhaps
overstatement, in some of his letters. Here is an extract
from one of them:
I have not had one moment's wavering of
trust in the Catholic Church ever since I was received
into her fold. I hold, and ever have held, that her
Sovereign Pontiff is the centre of unity and the Vicar
of Christ. And I ever have had, and have still, an
unclouded faith in her creed in all its articles; a
supreme satisfaction in her worship, discipline and
teaching; and an eager longing and a hope against hope
that the many dear friends whom I have left in
Protestantism may be partakers of my happiness.
This being my state of mind, to add, as I hereby
go on to do, that I have no intention, and never have
had any intention, of leaving the Catholic Church and
becoming a Protestant again, would be superfluous,
except that Protestants are always on the look-out for
some loophole or evasion in a Catholic's statement of
fact. Therefore, in order to give them full
satisfaction, if I can, I do hereby profess ex animo,
with an absolute internal assent and consent, that
Protestantism is the dreariest of possible religions;
that the thought of the Anglican service makes me
shiver, and the thought of the Thirty-nine Articles
makes me shudder. Return to the Church of England! No;
'the net is broken and we are delivered'. I should be
a consummate fool (to use a mild term) if in my old
age I left "the land flowing with milk and honey" for
the city of confusion and the house of bondage.10
To one over-enthusiastic correspondent Newman was led
to say "I beg you not to publish any letter of mine. I
can publish my own letters myself".11 Yet, as late as
1874 a newspaper was reporting that "at one time
[Newman] was on the point of uniting with Dr.
Dollinger and his party, and...it required the earnest
persuasion of several members of the Roman Catholic
Episcopate to prevent him from taking that step".12 The
reference is, of course, to Dr. Ignaz von Dollinger, the
great ecclesiastical historian, who rejected the dogma of
papal infallibility proclaimed by the First Vatican
Council in 1870. The fact is that on a number of
occasions Newman had made it quite clear that he did not
agree with Dollinger's stance.
Since Newman's death, and particularly since the
Second Vatican Council, it has sometimes seemed that
there is nothing for which Newman's illustrious name
cannot be put forward as a witness. It seems very often
that he is treated as unfairly in death as he was on
occasions in life. A remarkable instance is cited by Fr.
Stanley Jaki in his contribution to a set of papers on
Newman's contemporary influence.13 Jaki recounts how in
a book by Charles Curran and his confreres14 Newman is
quoted no fewer than six times in defence of dissent from
the papal encyclical on birth control, Humanae
Now, it is true that Newman is still thought of as
something of a controversial figure. Those who wish to
downplay the importance of papal authority regularly draw
attention to the fact that he was certainly no
ultramontane at a time when that view was fashionable.
But, those who clutch at matters such as this are
clutching at straws. We shall return to this issue, when
it will be seen that there is nothing there to cast any
doubt on Newman's orthodoxy and his loyalty to the see of
Newman as guide for
Newman's writings, both his historical and theological
works and his less formal responses to the hundreds of
letters which he received, are in many respects as
topical as when they were first written. What is more
important in the present context is that they are of
particular value to those trying to find a way through
the crisis in the Catholic Church today. In respect of
this crisis a lot has been written. Much has been done by
a number of writers to show how it is part of a much
bigger issue, namely the attack on the Catholic Church by
what may be called the "new Enlightenment", an attack
which is all the more serious in view of the role played
by a fifth column in the Church itself, notably
theologians who dissent from the teachings of the
magisterium. A detailed analysis of this modern
Kulturkampf can be found in the writings of E. Michael
Jones, both in the pages of Culture Wars and Fidelity and
elsewhere.15 The present writer has also considered these
matters on a number of occasions.16 It is not the purpose
of the present paper to look at them directly. Suffice it
to say that Newman's writings provide no support for the
modern version of the Enlightenment. On the contrary,
even when Newman was battling in the realm of ideas
against the anti-dogmatic principle as represented by
liberalism, he avoided the opposite trap of rationalism;
and, on a practical level, he foresaw "a spread of that
plague of infidelity, that the Apostles and our Lord
himself predicted as the worst calamity of the last times
of the Church".17
The central focus of this paper is a related, if
narrower, question, but one of equal importance in the
present context. This is the question of how a good and
faithful Catholic should react to the problems in the
Church which have been created by this attack upon her.
It is one thing to recognise the present culture war
taking place in the Church; it is another to understand
how one should react to it in a practical, day-to-day
context. It is the purpose of this paper to explore this
question and it is in this respect that Newman is of
Even if we confine our enquiries to Newman's letters
and diaries, there are many passages which are directly
relevant to the problems of today. One might look at
several areas of subject-matter to show this, but three
are perhaps more important than the rest. These relate to
the question of where the Church is to be found; of how
corruption in the Church can be reconciled with the idea
of the Church as holy; and the question of the papacy and
its attributes. In all of these matters, if we follow
Newman's wise counsel we shall be helped and strengthened
in a way that will keep us faithful to the Church and her
visible head on earth in these most difficult of times.
Furthermore, the answers are not complex ones. That this
should be the case will no doubt surprise some. Since the
Second Vatican Council, attempts to explain the authentic
Catholic approach to the problems in the Church have
become more and more sophisticated. A minor industry of
intellectual speculation has been created. But, the
reference to "intellectuals" should already give us
reason to hesitate. The true Catholic response to
problems in the Church, and to the faith itself, is not
something reserved for intellectuals to fathom.18 It
just cannot be. As Elisabeth Anscombe puts it, in
discussing some old forms of apologetics:
What about the 'faith of the simple'? They
could not know all these things. Did they then have
some inferior brand of faith? Surely not! And anyway,
did those who studied really think they knew all these
No, the answers to such questions have to be
accessible to all by their very nature. They are ways of
responding to difficulties in the Church, which flow
naturally out of the very nature of the Church
Newman and the location of
In the last 30 years or so things have not been easy
for those seeking to be faithful Catholics. The Church
has been assailed from outside by the forces of
secularism and indifferentism. As stated earlier, even
from within the Church clerical witness to the faith has
not always been as strong as it might have been. Having
said this, one must always remember, of course, that in a
very real sense the Church is always in crisis, as Our
Lord himself stated that she would be. There will always
be enemies ranged against her who wish to see her
destruction. One has only to think, as Newman did, of the
time in the tenth century when Marozia of the house of
Theophylact was virtual ruler of the whole Latin Church;
of the later period when Protestantism was dominant "from
Scotland to the Gulf of Tarento";20 or of "when all
religious as well as civil establishments had been
overthrown and Napoleon kept Pius [VII] a close
Furthermore, the temptation has always been to think
that one's own times are the worst that have ever been.
Newman was also fully aware of this phenomenon:
In the times of Arianism the great men of
the Church thought things too bad to last. So did Pope
Gregory at the end of the 7th century; St. Romuald in
the 11th; afterwards St. Vincent Ferrer, and I think
Savonarola-and so on to our time.22
Even as an Anglican Newman saw clearly what has been
referred to as a "theology of the vicissitudes of the
Church, which, following the pattern of Crucifixion and
Resurrection, dies in one place and one time only to rise
to new life in another place and at another time":23
The whole course of Christianity from the
first...is but one series of troubles and disorders.
Every century is like every other, and to those who
live in it seems worse than all times before it. The
Church is ever ailing...Religion seems ever expiring,
schisms dominant, the light of truth dim, its
adherents scattered. The cause of Christ is ever in
its last agony.24
However, even allowing for this, it is almost
certainly the case that there is today a coming together
of a number of highly disturbing factors leading to
problems rarely seen before in the history of the Church.25 The Dominican theologian, Fr. Aidan Nichols, has
summed up the core of the problem in the following
At the present time, the Catholic Church, in many
parts of the world, is undergoing one of the most serious
crises in its history, a crisis resulting from a
disorienting encounter with secular culture and
compounded by a failure of Christian discernment on the
part of many people over the last quarter century-from
the highest office-holders to the ordinary faithful. This
crisis touches many aspects of Church life but notably
theology and catechesis, liturgy and spirituality,
Religious life and Christian ethics at large26
At long last, the progressivist attitude to the Church
since the council can be seen for what it truly is: a
spiritual break with the past in the Church, which leads
to what is an inconsistent position for a Catholic to
hold. As Nichols himself writes in another place:
[The] posture [of the
progressives] is in fact spiritually schismatic
vis-a-vis the past Church-a past Church which is the
past of the present Church, and in that sense is the
present Church, since the Church, if she be in truth
the Church of the Word Incarnate and the Holy Spirit
given at the first Pentecost, must be one and
identical throughout her history.27
The persistent threat from progressivism or liberalism
is, however, something which the Church has yet to deal
with effectively in practice. What is certainly true is
that the liberals would receive no support from Newman,
who both predicted the havoc that they would cause and
analyzed their errors.28There is, however, another form
of error, one to which good Catholics are more likely to
point is that many good Catholics have been, not
unnaturally, scandalized by all the problems in the
Church. Some have reacted by taking steps which, for all
practical purposes, have resulted in them cutting
themselves off from the Church in their day-to-day
activities. Some have attached themselves to one or other
of various groupings, most of which have as a common
theme the celebration of the old rite of Mass. The most
notable of these is, of course, the Society of St. Pius
X, which, at least according to its formal statements,
states that it recognises the papacy of John Paul II.
Other people have gone formally down the sedevacantist
road in that they have ended up by denying that Pope John
Paul II is a true pope. Amongst these are the Thuc-ites,
the Kelley-ites and the not inconsiderable number of
other such independent groupings. Some of these have even
sought out their own new "pope".29 All of these groupings
lay claim to the term "traditionalist Catholic" in
describing themselves, a term which can be misleading.30
As we shall see, none of these alternatives is the way
for a Catholic in the present situation. But, some good
people, who have been appalled by some of the things that
have gone on in the last thirty years, not unnaturally
are worried and concerned. "Where is the Church to be
found?" they ask. Now, one can certainly sympathise with
those who have had to put up with the abuses that have
taken place. However, this does not mean that those who
purport to defend tradition can throw that tradition
over, or pick and choose which parts of it they are going
to accept, when things are going badly. In any case, as
Newman says at one point in his correspondence:
[T]he infallible Church, while she
always appeals to tradition, is the true judge and
interpreter of it, not you or I.31
The tried and trusted Catholic method still applies in
the most inauspicious of circumstances. And in truth
there is a simple, and long standing, test of where the
Church is. And this is where we come back directly to
In January 1870, Mr. S. S. Shiel, who was not a
Catholic, wrote from Seacombe to Newman indicating that
he had difficulties of faith.32 It is clear that these
revolved around the question of the Church and how to
identify it. Newman's answer is simple and clear as all
good apologetics should be. In his letter to Mr. Shiel,
Newman explains that in scripture and in the early
Fathers we are told that we must join the church, which
is shown to be a visible body. But, which of the
available bodies is one to join?
As to the question "Which is the Church of Christ?" Of
course it would puzzle anyone-but there is a question
which would puzzle no one. In the Creed we profess belief
in "the Catholic Church. "Now then go into any town, and
ask for "the Catholic Church", and you know whither you
would be directed33
What Newman is doing here is to apply the classic test
insisted upon by the Fathers of the Church. He himself
refers to the well-known words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
in the fourth century:
If you go into any city do not ask merely,
"Where is the Church, or House of God?" because the
heretics pretend to have this: but ask, "Which is the
Catholic Church?" because this title belongs alone to
our Holy Mother.34
To much the same effect are the words of St. Augustine
of Hippo, writing in the early part of the fifth
Many things detain me in the bosom of the
Catholic Church-the very name of Catholic detains me
in it, which she has so happily preserved amidst the
different heretics; that whereas they are all desirous
of being called Catholics, yet, if any stranger were
to ask them "Which is the assembly of the Catholics?"
none of them would dare to point out his own place of
This line of argument is just as valid today as it was
at the time of St. Cyril, St. Augustine, and Newman of
course.36 Suppose then that a supporter of one of the
independent groupings referred to earlier is on holiday
in an unfamiliar town and looking for the Mass Centre
served by priests of that group. He or she asks a
policeman, or some passer-by, "Where is the Catholic
Church in this town?" If he does he will be directed to
the local Catholic Church within the Catholic diocese for
the area in question, which itself of course is in
communion with the Holy See. And this is something which
none of these groupings can say about the church or Mass
Centre for which they are looking. One only has to
imagine the possible conversation with the aforesaid
policeman, "No, we don't want that church, we want the
real Catholic church, the one that has kept the
traditions and not sold out to Vatican II, the one linked
[say] to Archbishop Lefebvre." This just won't
work. The implication which this sort of statement gives
is that not only are there bad things in the Church, but
that the Church has defected from the faith. When people
say, as some do, that the magisterium officially teaches
heresy, that the hierarchy commands and legislates in
favour of heresy, and that the pope authorises a rite of
Mass that is doctrinally flawed and intrinsically harmful
to the faithful, this is what they are implying.
Now, if what they say is true, this would be far more
serious than people who say these things probably
appreciate. This is because it would mean that the
promises of Christ have failed and therefore also that
his body, the Church, has failed. If this position is
adopted, then groups like the Society of St. Pius X,
which purports to recognise the present pope and yet
rejects his decisions and teaching, even when these are
given with the apostolic authority of Peter, certainly
cannot provide the solution. If the Church has defected,
then the Lefebvrist position falls as well. Agnosticism,
atheism, or some other religion, would be the only
However, if in reality the Church has not defected,
and we know as Catholics that she cannot, then one needs
to be in communion with her-and groups such as the
Society of St. Pius X are not. Of course, the Society
will almost certainly deny this, but then so do such as
the Anglo-Catholics, to whom in this respect they bear a
singular resemblance. The problem which both have is that
communion is a two-way process under which a person or
organisation is in communion with the Pope and is
recognised as such by him. In the case of the late
Archbishop Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St.
Pius X, the evidence is very clear of this lack of
recognition by the Holy See. Before the episcopal
consecrations in 1988 Archbishop Lefebvre's name was in
the official Vatican Yearbook as evidence that he was
recognised as a Catholic bishop. However, his name was
excluded from each of the editions of the Yearbook since
that time up to his death in 1991. This shows clearly
that after the schismatic consecrations he was regarded
by the Apostolic See as no longer a Catholic bishop.
Similarly, the exclusion of the co-consecrator in 1988,
Bishop Castro de Mayer, and of the four bishops
consecrated then (and the additional one consecrated in
Campos in 1992), shows the non-acceptance of these by the
The present writer has written on a number of
occasions about the status of the Society of St. Pius
X.37 All that it is necessary to say for present purposes
is that the Society operates these days as a completely
autonomous organisation with its own independent
structures-independent, that is, from Rome. In this
respect it would have gained no support from
In respect of the indefectibility of the Church, the
sedevacantist position at least takes seriously the
Catholic teaching on this question. In doing so, however,
it comes up against enormous problems of its own. If the
pope and the bishops have lost office, as the
sedevacantists maintain, what becomes of the Church?
There are sedevacantist bishops in various places around
the world, but these are not a united, hierarchical body
visible as the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Where then is the living Church and magisterium today? In
addition, sedevacantists purport to decide (amongst a
host of other questions) that John Paul II is not pope;
that the teachings of Vatican II are false; and that the
sacraments promulgated by Rome are either invalid or
doubtful. But what or who gives them the authority and
commission to decide these questions? The answer is
clear: nothing and no one.39
Corruption and the
It may be, however, that those who keep close to the
Church and remain in communion with her still consider
that something has gone wrong today. What worries them
(and it is understandable in the light of the seriousness
of the problems in the Church) is not so much the
question of where the Church is, but rather how the
recognition of this Church as having been founded by our
divine Lord can be squared with the bad things that
sometimes go on there. Well, this is not a new question,
but rather one that has been posed again and again
throughout the history of the Church. Once again we can
learn much by looking at the way this problem was tackled
by John Henry Newman, when it was put to him. And this is
where we come to the redoubtable Lady Chatterton.
Henrietta Georgina Marcia Lascelles Iremonger was the
only child of Lascelles Iremonger, Prebendary of
Winchester, and his second wife Harriett, youngest sister
of Admiral Lord Gambier, whose sister was a close
relative by marriage of Pitt the Elder. In 1824 Henrietta
Georgina married Sir William Abraham Chatterton, baronet,
of Castle Mahon, County Cork, who lost his rents in the
Irish famine. During the rest of her life Lady Chatterton
produced a series of stories, poems and translations of
other works. Her husband died in 1855. Four years later
she married Edward Heneage Dering, but continued to be
known as Lady Chatterton. In June 1863 she wrote to
Newman, stating that she possessed "a firm conviction of
the truth of the Christian Revelation".40 However, one
difficulty remained for her, best expressed by Newman
himself in his reply to her: "Why the present Catholic
Church should be in many respects so unlike what she
should expect and wish it to be?".41
Now, this is a point made by many prospective
converts. If the Church is, in the words of the creed,
holy, then why does much that seems to be harmful and a
world away from Christ come from Christians and seemingly
from the Church herself. Now, this issue is not merely
one of importance in respect of those who are not yet
Catholics, but are contemplating converting to the faith,
as was the case with Lady Chatterton. It is also of
importance in respect of Catholics of all kinds who are
tempted to leave the Church on the grounds that she is
responsible for bad things and is not always a force for
This reaction can come from both sides of the spectrum
of belief. One need only look at the famous example of
Fr. Charles Davis, a leading English theologian in the
'60s and one who was certainly no conservative, who
suddenly left the Church in 1967, saying, amongst other
things, that she was corrupt.42 However, there are also
some amongst those who refer to themselves as
"traditionalist Catholics" who, as we have seen, have
reacted to abuses and scandals in the Church by moving
away from communion with their local bishop and with
Rome, joining up with independent groups, some avowedly
sedevacantist, others maintaining that John Paul II is
pope but refusing to obey him in some of his official
acts. Such events are always sad and raise issues of
fundamental importance in the life of the Church.
There are a number of ways of expressing the issues
here. We know as a part of Catholic doctrine that one of
the notes of the Church is that she is holy. By this is
meant that the Church teaches a holy doctrine, offers to
all the means to holiness and is distinguished by the
holiness of so many of her faithful.
The Church...is held, as a matter of faith, to be
unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God,
who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as "alone
holy", loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up
for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself
as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy
Spirit for the glory of God.43
How does Newman respond to the challenge put to him by
Lady Chatterton? Certainly not by a refusal to face
uncomfortable facts. There has on occasion been a
tendency amongst Catholic apologists to attempt to argue
that it was all a bit of a mistake, that many of these
uncomfortable facts in the life of the Church simply did
not take place or, if they did, they were grossly
exaggerated. It has even been known for writers to
attempt to argue that figures like Alexander VI in
reality led lives of some sanctity and that all the
stories against them were malicious falsehoods and some
kind of Judaeo-Masonic plot. Not only is this kind of
approach shortsighted. It also sins against the
All of this Newman fully appreciated, as becomes
immediately apparent in his reply to Lady Chatterton's
inquiry. Newman does not deny that what she is saying is
true. In fact, in his reply he himself asserts as a fact
that the face of the visible Church is very often
disappointing and, in a certain sense, a scandal. Here is
what he says:
I do not believe that there was ever a time
when the gravest scandals did not exist in the Church,
and act as impediments to the success of its mission.
Those scandals have been the occasion of momentous
secessions and schisms; in the earlier times, of the
Novatian, the Donatist, the Luciferian; in latter of
Protestantism and Jansenism.44
one just concentrates on clerics, and leaves out the
words and deeds of lay people, many appalling things have
been said and done by them. At the Council of Constance,
John Hus (who had presented himself after having been
assured of safe conduct) was ceremonially condemned by
the bishops and then burned alive, his body, after his
death, being pushed further into the flames to ensure its
complete reduction to ashes! I think that will stand as a
fair example of bad behavior! As far as doctrine is
concerned, priests have often said quite ludicrous
things. Perhaps it is true that some of their statements
are even sillier today than they have sometimes been in
the past. All that this probably means is that, as they
inevitably imbibe the spirit of the age (none of us is
immune from this) they suffer more than in the past,
since we live in an age wedded to trivialities. But, bad
though it is, our time does not have a monopoly on such
The point is, as Newman went on to explain in his
letter to Lady Chatterton, that in spite of these
scandals, much can be said in support of the Church. He
highlights three points:
 It is also a fact that, in spite
of them still, the Church has ever got on and made
way, to the surprise of the world; as an army may
fight a series of bloody battles, and lose men, and
yet go forward from victory to victory. On the other
hand the seceding bodies have sooner or later come to
 [O]ur Lord distinctly
predicted these scandals as inevitable; nay further,
He spoke of His Church as in its very constitution
made up of good and bad, of wheat and weeds, of the
precious and the vile. One out of His twelve Apostles
fell, and one of the original seven deacons. Thus a
Church, such as we behold, is bound up with the very
idea of Christianity.46
 [A]t least from St.
Augustine's day, the fact has been so fully recognised
in the Church, as to become a doctrine, and almost a
dogma, admitted by all; and never considered in
consequence at all to interfere with that Sanctity
which is one of her four Notes.47
What Newman said then is just as relevant now. I'm
afraid that Our Lord made no promises that the apostolic
succession would not include hireling shepherds, who
would promote grossly unchristian attitudes, modes of
behavior, and even beliefs. Only one guarantee was given
and that is that if we kept the bond of unity with the
Church we would be able to place entire confidence in the
Church's solemn pronouncements on the content of the
faith.48 Remember, of course, that the doctrine of the
infallibility of the Church's magisterium is not affected
by what individual priests or even whole groups of
theologians may say.
All that is being stated here is, of course, what
Catholic tradition says. The saints also testify in
exactly the same way. Not a few of them were very badly
treated by the Church at different times. Their response
was always to remain within the Church and, in
particular, to remain in communion with the Vicar of
Christ. The idea that just when the barque of Peter is
tossed by the roughest seas we should abandon ship and
leave her would have been unthinkable for them.
In further correspondence with Lady Chatterton, Newman
takes up another issue, which he analyses in more detail
in his more formal writings, namely the way in which
inevitably a divine system (the Church) becomes mixed up
with human weakness and corruption.
Christianity was intended for whole populations; now
a popular religion is necessarily deformed by the errors
and bad taste of the multitude. As the religion of
barbarous times will ever be fierce and superstitious, as
the religion of the schools will ever tend to be subtle
and pedantic, so the religion of a nation will ever
partake of the peculiar faults of the national character.
The most sublime truths take a vulgar shape and bear a
forbidding aspect, when reflected back by the masses of
human society-nay, often cannot be made intelligible to
them, or at least cannot be made to reach them, till
thrown into words or actions which are offensive to
educated minds. The Church cannot countenance any such
misstatement of the truth, much less any degradation or
depravation of it-yet, when it has actually taken place,
she may find it quite impossible to root out the tares
without rooting out the wheat with them-and is obliged to
let them grow together till the harvest. At least, she is
obliged to be patient,and waits her time - hoping that an
evil will at length die of itself-or again that some
favourable opportunity may occur, when she may be able to
do what she has no means of doing at present.49
In his lectures on Difficulties of Anglicans Newman gives some extremely amusing examples of the way that a people's religion will inevitably be one involving contrasts in behaviour. Here is one example:
You enter into one of the churches close upon the scene of festivity...there is a feeble old woman, who first genuflects before the Blessed Sacrament, and then steals her neighbour's handkerchief, or prayer book, who is intent on his devotions. Here at last, you say, is a thing absolutely indefensive and inexcusable. Doubtless; but what does it prove? Does England bear no thieves? Or do you think this...poor creature an unbeliever? Or do you exclaim against Catholicism, which has made her so profane?50
As Fr. Joseph Tolhurst has pointed out, "it is precisely because the Church must be a religion of the multitude, with all that the word implies, that it produces out of its net both good and bad".51
The point which Newman wishes to emphasise is that a people's religion is
always by its very nature a corrupt religion in spite of
the efforts of the Church. The treasury of the truth,
which the Church possesses, is in the hands of corrupt
human nature and therefore is used in a sacrilegious way.
As St. Paul says, the treasure is in earthen vessels (2
Cor. 4:7). Far from adopting a triumphalist stance in
this respect, Newman is prepared to assert that a
Catholic is typically capable of much greater sin than a
[S]ince the world is ever corrupt,
therefore when it has poured into the Church, it has
insulted and blasphemed the religion which it
professed in a special manner, in which heathenism
cannot insult it. I grant that a Protestant world
cannot commit that sin which a Catholic world can-as
Angels could sin with an intensity of their own
because they saw the face of God, and as those who
"have tasted of the heavenly gift and the powers of
the world to come", can fall away as they cannot who
have not fallen except in Adam (3 Heb. 6:4).52
As Fr. Ian Ker has expressed it in another place,53 this is an example of the old principle that the
corruption of the best is the worst. From this it also
follows, given the claims which the Catholic Church
makes, that one should not be surprised to find the worst
of scandals at high places in the Church. Newman himself
expresses this in relation to the papacy:
[W]here you have power, you will
have the abuse of power-and the more absolute, the
stronger, the more sacred the power, the greater and
more certain will be its abuse.54
Since a corrupt world pours into the Church it may be
added at this stage that a particular malign influence of
this corrupt world may come from politics. As Newman
famously put it, "a large society, such as the Church, is
necessarily a political power, and to touch politics is
to touch pitch"55
The effect of fallen humanity on the Church in this
way is at the heart of Newman's explanation of the fact
that general councils of the Church are invariably
accompanied by unsavoury behaviour and are often slow to
produce fruits within the Church:
I suppose in all Councils there has been
intrigue, violence, management, because the truth is
held in earthen vessels [II Cor. 4:7]. but God
Of course, in one's treatment of these questions one
must not be excessively negative. One must speak the
truth and in the case of the Catholic Church and its
history the truth comprises also much that is positive.
It is, of course, easy to take for granted the positive
things that the Church gives us. There is the day-to-day
administration of the sacraments, the dispensing of
Christ to his people, plus the Christian witness given by
so many unsung persons. It is easy also to concentrate on
what is bad in the Church and ignore the good things. In
his voluminous correspondence Newman does not fall into
this trap. He never forgets to emphasise the true
sanctity within the Church's life.
[T]he outburst of Saints in
1500-1600 after the monstrous corruption seems to me
one of the great arguments for Christianity. It is the
third marvellous phenomenon in its history; the
conversion of the Roman Empire, the reaction under
Hildebrand, the resurrection under Ignatius, Teresa,
Vincent and a host of others. Think of the contrast
between Alexander VI and Pius V, think of the
Cardinals of the beginning, and then those of the end
of the 16th century.57
It would be...an easy business...to show how
Christianity has raised the moral standard, tone, and
customs of human society; and it must be recollected
that for 1500 years Christianity and the Catholic
Church are in history identical. The care and
elevation of the lower classes, the championship of
the weak against the powerful, the abolition of
slavery, hospitals, the redemption of captives,
education of children, agriculture, literature, the
cultivation of the virtues of piety, devotion,
justice, charity, chastity, family affection, are all
historical monuments to the influence and teaching of
In a similar way Newman, whilst recognising the
scandalous lives of some popes, albeit a minority, goes
on to state that Catholics not only concede this, but
actually "glory in it", since it shows "the Divine Care
of the Church, that, even in the case of those very men,
the See of Peter spoke truth, not falsehood".59 In other
words, he shows how it is necessary to distinguish
between doctrine and behaviour. Infallibility is one
thing, impeccability another.60
Questions from correspondents about the darker side of
the Church are very common in Newman's collected letters
and diaries. This should be no cause for surprise, since
such matters constitute real difficulties for earnest
enquirers into the case for the Catholic Church, just as
the problem of suffering and evil is frequently a
stumbling block for those enquiring into the case for
theism. Newman's method of dealing with the question of
evil in the Church is utterly consistent, as can be seen
in the following reply to an enquiry:
As to your not being able to see the
splendours of the Church, as some persons represent
them, I do not wonder-for 'the King's daughter is all
glorious within -' the best of us have sin enough. The
Bride of Christ is holy, but each of her children has
a bad side as well as a good (if a good) and he wears
his bad side outside. Do not forget the parable of the
tares-of the net-and that 'many are called, few
chosen'. Of course there is, and has ever been, an
abundance of evil-and that in Popes as well as in
others; and Popes have made great mistakes-and Popes
have said and done heretical things-though they were
not heretics, and did not say and do them as Popes.
Pope Liberius, for instance, when he gave up St.
Athanasius, did it under constraint, when he wished to
get back from exile, and was in the hands of the
Arians. This was not an act of his as Pope, ex
Cathedra, but as an individual, and as an erring
To sum up then, what we may learn here is that when
someone cites a list of abuses that have taken place in
the Church there is no need to rush into a denial of
them. Newman is quite capable, when necessary, to make
narrower points such as the way that the popes on the
whole did their best to oppose the Spanish Inquisition,
which was a government and national concern.62 But, from
an apologetic point of view, it may be far more effective
if one assumes for sake of argument that the critic of
the Church is right on many of his complaints. After all,
he may well be; and the line of response is not affected
in principle by the fact that some of his statements may
be exaggerated. The point is, however, that although the
abuses referred to may be deplorable, they are in fact no
argument against the claims of the Church.
Unlike the case of some converts, the papacy did not figure as the central factor in Newman's conversion. As he pointed out to a number of correspondents, he did not become a Catholic directly as a result of a belief in papal infallibility or on the ground that "ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia".64 We shall have cause to say more about Newman's position vis-a-vis the papacy later, but for now what needs to be emphasised is that the papacy and its prerogatives did not act as the route into the Church for Newman. It was rather the other way round:
What I believe about the Pope, I believe, as I believe any other doctrine, - because the Church teaches it - but, for me, the Church directs me to the Pope not the Pope directs me to the Church65
Its communion with the see of St. Peter is not a 'Note of the Church'. How then do I know which is the true Church? I know it by the tokens of its unity, its apostolicity, its pretensions etc etc. I admit that there are able men who have been led into the Church through belief in the Pope's prerogatives. But a man need not believe in the jus divinum of the see of St. Peter in order to submit himself to the church which is in communion with it. This was my own case. I did not distinctly believe in the jus divinum of the Holy See till I joined the Church. I then believed in it as I believed in any other doctrine of the Church, because she was the Church, the oracle of Christ. I believed in the seven sacraments forthwith, because she taught them de fide; and for the same reason I believed in the jus divinum of the Papacy forthwith66
What brought Newman into the Church was not the infallibility of the pope, or union with Rome, but rather the visible identity of the ancient Church with the present Roman communion, something which, of course, he developed in his more formal writing.67
As to the dogma of the infallibility of the pope, it is well known that Newman thought its promulgation at that time (i.e., the First Vatican Council of 1870) to be inexpedient. This is, however, no reason whatsoever for suspecting Newman to have been some sort of progressive. On numerous occasions he made it clear that he had held the doctrine ever since he had become a Catholic and so had no difficulty in accepting it once it had been formally defined.68
My own reading before I was a Catholic strongly impressed me with the belief that as early as the 5th century St. Leo acted as no Pope could have acted unless he was infallible. Long before that, in the 3rd century, Pope Dionysius claimed to act and was obeyed, in matters in which he could not have acted unless he had been generally considered infallible. Of course it is a difficult thing to determine when it is that he acted ex cathedra - and whether a particular subject is one in which, from its nature, he is infallible - but these difficulties in detail do not interfere with the abstract truth69
Once again for Newman it was the Church that comes first, not the pope. The infallibility of the pope was something which must be derived from the infallibility of the Church.70
Where Newman remains particularly relevant today in respect of the papacy and the successor of St. Peter relates not to the infallibility of the pope, but to the question of obedience to him. There are many today, and not only in the liberal camp, who try to argue that it is only on matters touching upon faith and morals, and only where such things have been defined, that he must be obeyed. The argument goes on to assert that in relation to matters not involving faith and morals, and on matters of discipline, the pope need not be obeyed. This enables the liberals to encourage people to go their own way on a number of issues and generally to weaken the authority of the pope and thereby that of the Church. But, a similar approach enables those who purport to be of a conservative bent to promote Medjugorje and similar matters having a veneer of piety about them. It also allows those who call themselves traditionalists to go their own way in matters of liturgical practice. In reality, however, Newman would not have supported these people in any way and would have been appalled at their disobedience to authority. Ample evidence of this can be gleaned from his collected letters and diaries.
Deeply do I feel, ever will I protest, for I can appeal to the ample testimony of history to bear me out, that, in questions of right and wrong, there is nothing really strong in the whole world, nothing decisive and operative, but the voice of him, to whom have been committed the keys of the kingdom and the oversight of Christ's flock. That voice is now, as ever it has been, a real authority, infallible when it teaches, prosperous when it commands, ever taking the lead wisely and distinctly in its own province, adding certainty to what is probable and persuasion to what is certain. Before he speaks, the most saintly may mistake; and after it has spoken, the most gifted must obey...71
It should be clear that Newman is not here confining his remarks about the obligation to obey to things declared ex cathedra, but the point can be made even clearer (and in view of the crisis of authority in the Church today, it would be best to do so) by looking at another passage in the letters and diaries. It is with words that go straight to the heart of the issues confronting us today that Newman sets out the Catholic position:
I say with Cardinal Bellarmine whether the Pope be infallible or not in any pronouncement, anyhow he is to be obeyed. No good can come from disobedience. His facts and his warnings may be all wrong; his deliberations may have been biased. He may have been misled. Imperiousness and craft, tyranny and cruelty, may be patent in the conduct of his advisers and instruments. But when he speaks formally and authoritatively he speaks as our Lord would have him speak, and all those imperfections and sins of individuals are overruled for that result which our Lord intends (just as the action of the wicked and of enemies to the Church are overruled) and therefore the Pope's word stands and a blessing goes with obedience to it, and no blessing with disobedience72
All that Newman is doing here is to reflect the standard teaching of the Church, expressed most authoritatively in the teaching of the First Vatican Council:
We teach and declare...that by the disposition of the Lord, the Roman Church possesses preeminence of ordinary power above all the Churches; and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate. This power obligates shepherds and faithful of every rite and dignity, both individually and collectively, to hierarchical subordination and true obedience, not only in matters pertaining to faith and morals, but also in those pertaining to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world; so that by maintaining with the Roman Pontiff unity of communion and unity in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ may be one flock under one supreme Shepherd. This is the teaching of Catholic truth. No one can deviate from it without danger to faith73
This means that faithful Catholics may not reject authentic Church teachings or disciplinary measures even though they may honestly believe them to be against the interests of the Church. They may not be infallible, but they are binding. So we cannot just reject the Pauline rite of Mass and go off and sign up with some independent priest dedicated to say only the old rite of Mass. It may be that aesthetically the old rite is superior, although questions of aesthetics are always difficult ones to answer. Certainly Newman's writings give us no warrant at all for picking and choosing amongst the conciliar texts or rejecting the present liturgical discipline. There is, of course, much confusion over the status of liturgical rites and the status of what many traditionalists blithely refer to as merely a "pastoral" council. These matters have been dealt with elsewhere.74
Those who wish to play down Newman's approach to the authority of the pope often refer to some oft-quoted words of his from the Letter to the Duke of Norfolk that "if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts...I shall drink - to the Pope, if you please - still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards".75 Such people rarely go on to make the point that a person's conscience must first be properly formed; and examined in the light of the magisterium's teaching on a particular point. In addition to these points, made by Newman himself, it is also rarely stated that as well as referring to the toast "to conscience first and to the pope afterwards" Newman denounced in no uncertain terms that "miserable counterfeit [conscience]...which now goes by the name".76 With regard to those dissident theologians today who attempt to claim Newman's support, Fr. Stanley Jaki explains what Newman's answer to such people would be:
He would challenge them to appear with him in the Court of Conscience, which he rightly held high as the ultimate and supreme forum, provided it was not a mere fancy, whim, and social fashion. There he would ask them whether it was not he who wrote in connection with the See of Peter that even when it speaks outside its special province and errs 'it has in all cases a claim to our obedience'77
In a penetrating study of Newman's treatment of conscience in his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, John Finnis concludes as follows:
Newman's toast has made its way in the world quite divorced from its context - ...reverence for the truth of divine law disclosed by conscience; 'generous loyalty towards ecclesiastical authority' which 'a true Catholic...must have', 'accept[ing] what is taught him with what is called the pietas fidei'...; the horror of false consciousness, that 'miserable counterfeit'...masking self-will78
Those who put forward Cardinal Newman as opposing papal authority are skating on very thin ice indeed. Here is another text among many which might be cited:
In the midst of our difficulties I have one ground of hope, just one stay, but, as I think, a sufficient one, which serves me in the stead of all other argument whatever, which hardens me against criticism, which supports me if I begin to despond, and to which I ever come round, when the question of the possible and the expedient is brought into discussion. It is the decision of the Holy See; St. Peter has spoken, it is he who has enjoined that which seems to us so unpromising. He has spoken and has a claim on us to trust him. He is no recluse, no solitary student, no dreamer about the past, no doter upon the dead and gone, no projector of the visionary. He for eighteen hundred years has lived in the world; he has seen all fortunes, he has encountered all adversaries, he has shaped himself for all emergencies. If ever there was a power on earth who had an eye for the times, who has confined himself to the practicable, and has been happy in his anticipations, whose words have been facts, and whose commands prophecies, such is he in the history of ages, who sits from generation to generation in the Chair of the Apostles, as the Vicar of Christ, and the Doctor of his Church.
These are not words of rhetoric, gentlemen, but of history. All who take part with the Apostle are on the winning side. He has long since given warrant for the confidence which he claims. From the first he has looked through the wide world of which he has the burden; and, according to the need of the day and the inspiration of his Lord, he has set himself now to one thing, now to another; but to all in season, and to nothing in vain79
Those who follow the way of Cardinal Newman, then,
will know how to respond to the crisis in the Church
today. They will keep the faith, stay in the Church,
though aware of its human imperfections, and remain close
to the successor of St. Peter who by the command of Our
Lord is that centre of visible unity within the Church.
If one could but add to this that deep spirituality
evidenced so clearly by Newman throughout his life, then
one would be blessed indeed. But, that is another story,
perhaps for another time.
John Beaumont was until recently Head of the School of Law at Leeds Metropolitan University
Notes and primary sources:
1 Dessain et al (ed), The Letters and Diaries of John
Henry Newman (referred to hereinafter as Letters and
Diaries), Vol. XXX, p.387.
2 Newman's collected letters and diaries contain a
recommendation of a similar kind in respect of one John
Higgins who had looked after the Oratory's garden and
later applied for a job as a caretaker (see Vol. XXXI,
p.253). Again, we have no knowledge as to whether his
application was successful.
3 See Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIII, p.386; Vol.
XXIV, p.393; Vol. XXV, p.449; Vol. XXVI, p.396.
4 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.452; Vol. XXI,
p.218. In the case of the cakes, Newman sent a poem
composed by William Neville, later to become his
secretary and literary executor, as a form of thanks.
5 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.419; Vol. XXI,
6 It should not be thought that Newman was without
faults. He could be unduly sensitive at times and was
sometimes slow to forgive the faults of others. What is
undoubtedly true, however, is that his virtues far
outweighed any faults. For an example of a harsh verdict
on Newman, see Gray, Cardinal Manning (1985), pp.54-55;
178-179. For a more balanced assessment, see Newsome The
Convert Cardinals (1993), pp.368-374.
7 In fact evidence to the contrary is available in the
Letters and Diaries. See, for example, Vol. XXIV, p.6;
Vol. XXV, p.90; and Vol. XXVII, p.334.
8 See Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, pp.202-203;
9 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.208, n.1; see also
10 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.216. For another
example of the expression of similar sentiments, see Vol.
11 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXV, p.163.
12 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVII, p.157.
13 Jaki, 'Newman's Assent to Reality', in Jaki (ed),
Newman Today (1989), p.220.
14 Curran et al, Dissent in and for the Church:
Theologians and Humanae Vitae (1969).
15 Jones, John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural
Revolution (1995); see also, inter alia, Van Inwagen,
'Quam Dilecta', in Morris (ed), God and the Philosophers
(1994), p.31, at pp.49-59; Van Inwagen, 'Non Est Hick',
in God, Knowledge and Mystery (1995), p.191, at
16 Beaumont, 'Kulturkampf and the Gospel', Culture
Wars, Vol. 16, No. 1, December 1996, p.16; 'The Liturgy
and the New Enlightenment', Culture Wars, Vol. 16, No. 3,
February 1997, p.40; 'Bauhaus Architecture and the
Catholic Church', Culture Wars, Vol. 16, No. 4, March
17 See Newman's sermon at the opening of St. Bernard's
Seminary, Olton, 2nd October 1873, published in Dessain
(ed), Catholic Sermons of Cardinal Newman (1957),
18 It is interesting to note that just after the
promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility by the
fathers of Vatican I, Newman wrote as follows to a friend
about the situation in Germany:
The bulk of the lower class people (Catholics) follow
the Pope. The professors and literary men go much further
than Dollinger - they either are for a schism or for
simple indifferentism (Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXV,
19 Anscombe, 'Faith', in Collected Papers, Vol. III
20 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVIII, p.91.
22 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVII, p.256.
23 Ker, 'Newman and the Post Conciliar Church', in
Jaki (ed), Newman Today (1989), p.121.
24 The Via Media, Vol. I, pp.354-355.
25 Still perhaps the most profound analysis of the
problems faced by the modern Church is contained in the
interview between Vittorio Messori and Cardinal
Ratzinger, published as The Ratzinger Report (1985).
26 'A Catholic View of Orthodoxy', New Blackfriars,
Vol. 77 (1996), p.264, at p.265.
27 Scribe of the Kingdom (1994) Vol. I, p.24.
28 See, amongst many other texts, O'Connell, 'Newman
and Liberalism', in Jaki (ed), Newman Today (1989), p.79;
Jaki, The Keys of the Kingdom (1986), pp.160-163.
29 See Beaumont, 'Sedevacantist Odyssey: Fr. Dan Jones
Discovers a Pope', Fidelity, Vol. 14, No. 1, December
30 Those using the term tend to divide into two
different categories of people. There are those Catholics
who are in full communion with the Holy See and are not
associated with any schismatic movements, yet are
spiritually attached to the previous liturgical forms.
Such persons are to be distinguished from those who
support groupings which in their day-to-day activities
operate autonomously and retain no links with Rome.
31 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIV, p.339.
32 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXV, pp.13-14.
33 Letters and Diaries, Vol. Vol. XXV, p.14.
34 Catech., XVIII, 26.
35 Contra Epist Fundamen., c.5.
36 The same argument was used by Newman on a number of
occasions, cf. Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIX, p.291.
37 See Beaumont and Walsh, 'Schism, Obedience and the
Society of St. Pius X', Fidelity, Vol. 12, No. 10,
October 1993, pp.30-44; Beaumont and Walsh, 'The Story of
the Vanishing Schism: The Strange Case of Cardinal Lara',
Fidelity, Vol. 13, No. 4, March 1994, pp.34-42; Beaumont,
'The Vanishing Schism Revisited', Fidelity, Vol.15,
No.11, November 1996, pp.5-15.
38 It is interesting to note the judgment of Newman's
most notable modern biographer, Fr. Ian Ker, stated,
"Newman could have predicted the rise of both Archbishop
Lefebvre and Professor Kung and he would have
enthusiastically endorsed the condemnations by Pope Paul
VI and Pope John Paul II of both "integralism" and
"progressivism" ('Newman and the Post Conciliar Church',
in Jaki (ed) Newman Today (1989), p.126).
39 See generally Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Part
40 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.464, n.4.
41 Ibid, p.465.
42 See A Question of Conscience (1967).
43 Lumen Gentium, para. 39.
44 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.465.
46 Ibid. See also Vol. XXVIII, pp.128; 223.
48 A clear analysis of many of the themes discussed
here is to be found in Dummett, 'A Remarkable Consensus'
in New Blackfriars, Vol. 68 (1987), pp.424-431.
49 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, pp.470-471.
50 Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, Vol. 1, p.284.
51 Tolhurst, 'The Church of the Multitudes', The Downside Review, Vol. 111 (1993), p.273, at p.278.
52 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVII, p.139.
53 Newman on Being a Christian (1990), p.80. The book
contains a fine summary of Newman's approach to the
problem of corruption in the Church. In particular, Fr.
Ker draws attention to Newman's more formal writing on
this question, notably his attempt to formulate a
theology of the corruption of the Church in his Via Media
(see on this pp.78-83).
54 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXV, p.204.
55 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVII, p.265.
56 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXV, p.85. See also Vol.
57 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXX, p.264. See also Vol.
58 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVII, p.262.
59 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIV, p.328.
60 See Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVI, p.164, in which
Newman wrote to answer allegations published in The Times
shortly after the Vatican I decree on papal infallibility
that if the popes were infallible they could not disown
responsibility for the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
Newman responded that "no pope can make evil good. No
pope has any power over those eternal principles which
God has imprinted on our hearts and consciences".
61 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIV, p.325.
62 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVI, p.379.
63 A stimulating summary of Newman's attitude towards the papacy at different periods of his life, together with some fascinating analogies for today, can be found in Ker, 'Newman and the Papacy', The Downside Review, Vol. 103 (1985), p.87.
64 See for example Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.308; Vol. XXV, p.203.
65 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXII, p.95.
66 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XX, p.308.
67 Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, pp.97-98. There are references in the same vein in the letters and diaries themselves; see for example Vol. XIII, p.78 and Vol. XIV, p.366.
68 See for example Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXII, p.57; Vol. XXIV, p.325; Vol. XXVI, pp.33 and 136.
69 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVI, p.33.
70 See Letters and Diaries, Vol. XIV, p.366; Vol. XXII, p.95.
71 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXVI, p.167. Newman is quoting here from his Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education (1852).
72 Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIII, p.365. A similar sentiment was expressed by Newman in Sermons Preached on Various Occasions (1870), pp.263-298, where he stated that Catholics have the duty "to look at his [the Pope's] formal deeds, and to follow him whither he goes, and never to desert him, however we may be tried, but to defend him at all hazards and against all comers, as a son would a father, and as a wife a husband, knowing that his cause is the cause of God".
73 Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 3 (emphasis supplied). See also the Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, ch. 3; and Pius IX's encyclical Quanta Cura (1864). There are many other similar statements by the magisterium.
74 See Likoudis and Whitehead, The Pope, the Council, and the Mass (1982). The whole book is a fine analysis of the major controversies which have arisen since Vatican II. See pp.33-51 for the matters referred to in the text.
75 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk (1875), p.66.
76 Ibid, p.63. On this see Jaki, The Keys of the Kingdom (1986), pp.160-163.
77 Jaki, 'Newman's Assent to Reality', in Jaki (ed), Newman Today (1989), p.213. The reference is to the Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, p.104.
78 Finnis, 'Conscience in the Letter to the Duke of Norfolk', in Ker and Hill (ed), Newman after a Hundred Years (1990), p.418.
79 Ker (ed), The Idea of a University (1976), p.28. For a slightly different version of this text, see Newman's short essay, 'Cathedra Sempiterna' (1853), which is not readily available, but is reprinted in Jaki, 'Newman's Assent to Reality', in Jaki (ed), Newman Today (1989), p.213, at pp.221-223. See also the following insistence on the "unlimited" and even "despotic" jurisdiction of the pope:
[T]here is no use in a Pope at all, except to bind the whole of Christendom into one polity; and...to ask us to give up his universal jurisdiction is to invite us to commit suicide...An honorary head...does not affect the real force, or enter into the essence, of a political body, and is not worth contending about. We do not want a man of straw, but a bond of unity...Now the Church is a Church militant, and, as the commander of an army is despotic, so must the visible head of the Church be (Letters and Diaries, Vol. XXIII, p.106).
80 On Newman's spirituality see, inter alia, Dessain, The Spirituality of John Henry Newman (1977); Ker, Newman on Being a Christian (1990), ch. 7; Fr. Zeno O.F.M., John Henry Newman: His Inner Life (1987); see also Bouyer, Newman, His Life and Spirituality (1958); and Dessain, Why Pray (1969). The general literature on Newman's life and thought is enormous. The classic biography is Ward, The Life of John Henry Cardinal Newman, 2 Vols. (1912). The two best modern biographies are Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (1988); and Gilley, Newman and His Age (1990). Also noteworthy are Trevor, Newman: The Pillar of the Cloud, and Newman: Light in Winter (1962). An interesting recent double biography is Newsome, The Convert Cardinals (1993), a study of Newman and Manning. Also of value is Ffinch, Cardinal Newman: The Second Spring (1991). The best modern short introduction to Newman remains Dessain, John Henry Newman (1966).