Comments: Newman and the Pope

Where I disagree is his view about Rowan Williams.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 28 October 2010 at 7:37pm BST

"intriguingly echo aspects of Newman’s own polemical interaction with Charles Kingsley"

Drama Queens beget Drama Queens, beget...

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 28 October 2010 at 9:31pm BST

JCF, theology always has a lot of trouble getting taken seriously.

It is funny to see that the homophobic insinuation surrounding Newman goes back such a long way, if it is true that Kingsley's "unmanly" has this connotation. Remember when Newman retired to a "monastery" in Littlemore with some other men in 1841 and how people snooped about -- I always thought they were snooping for signs of Papist practices, but now I imagine that a sexual motif was in the air.

Frank Turner trivializes his account of Newman by fussing about the alleged role played by his desire for congenial male companionship, and Ian Ker also trivializes Newman by obsessively arguing that he was "manly" and heterosexual. Newman's own obsessive, narcissistic autobiographical fetishism (which could be analyzed as a psychoanalytical symptom) is largely to blame for the petty, limiting biographical focus of most Newman scholarship.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 29 October 2010 at 7:41am BST

What's all this ridiculous talk of 'manliness'?

There is evidence all around of where 'manliness' got us and gets us.

The camp of (so much)Catholicism is a vital witness to an important truth. Or has been. Part of truth.

I love the account of how Fr Hope Patten closed the Tabernacle curtains, and then fell back, dead, into the arms of a bevy of servers.

All boxes ticked.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 29 October 2010 at 6:39pm BST

At the risk of pushing my own blog musings, I believe that Newman's writing in his late-in-life preface to "The Via Media" about the RCC's "regal function" explains in some part that Church's behavior in the sex abuse scandals. Briefly, he contends that "Acts simply unjustifiable, such as real betrayals of the truth on the part of Liberius and Honorius, become intelligible, and cease to be shocking, if we consider that those Popes felt themselves to be head rulers of Christendom and their first duty, as such, to be that of securing its peace, union and consolidation." (Preface at lxxxii-lxxxiii).

More here:

Posted by John Wirenius at Sunday, 31 October 2010 at 3:16am GMT

"The fact is, having one man, and a small circle of princes, responsible for the preservation of a 2,000 year institution which it believes to be the true incarnation if Christ's Body on Earth is to put an insupportable burden on that man and that circle of men. It cannot be maintained, because it attributes perfection to the necessarily imperfect. And that leads to covering up the gap between the Heavenly Image and the Earthly Reality."

- John Wirenius, on Sunday -

I find this paragraph in John Wirenius' article (above comment) to be almost perfectly consonant with the situation of Roman Catholicism and parts of the Anglican Communion, today.

The concept of purity and holiness as something human beings - whether inside or outside of the Church - are able to practise and regulate on a consistent basis, is simply a denial of the ongoing and constant need for reconciliation of our flawed humanity to God.

The idea that there was ever one single person, outside of Jesus Christ - whose own vulnerability as a human being was at times severely tested - to have attained to perfection in this world, is plainly beyond credibility. Certainly, the lives of several of the Popes do not give evidence of oustanding holiness; the 12 Apostles were subject to error; and even those who have been accorded - by the Church - the accolade of sainthood, have not been without sin - in the sense of having experienced separation from God in their lives on earth.

Any proslytation based on the presumption of the personal holiness of the Leaders of the Church, must fail at the first hurdle. This is the real problem at the heart of the present stand-off within the Anglican Communion: There are those among the leadership who are basing their presentation of the Gospel on the myth that God rejects what is less than perfect in the behaviour of God's human children. If the Gospel were not entirely other than this, none of us would find ourselves either accapted by, or acceptable to God, and the self-offering of Christ weould have been in vain. "God so loved the world....etc."

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 1 November 2010 at 9:53am GMT
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