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Letters

Newman (letter)

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 Contents - Dec 2002AD2000 December 2002 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Christmas 2002: the state of the Church - Peter Westmore
New Vatican Instruction on priesthood: the challenge to be another Christ - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Education: Most teachers reject Church teaching: ACU professor - Michael Gilchrist
Books: Biography of Archbishop Pell launched in Melbourne: author interviewed
Thomas Groome: his influence on religious education continues - Eamonn Keane
Brisbane Synod 2003: a leadership challenge - Peter D. Howard
'New' ecumenism fights secular culture: Protestant theologian
Archbishop Chaput: what makes a good leader? - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
The sound of thunder and laughter: Hilaire Belloc re-considered -  A.G. Evans
Letters: The Pell case (letter) - Alan A. Hoysted
Letters: Clergy support (letter) - Peter R. McNamara
Letters: Anti-Catholicism (letter) - Glenn Talaue
Letters: Women's Commission (1) (letter) - Sr Breda O'Reilly
Letters: Women's Commission (2) (letter) - Dr Myles M. Kehoe
Letters: Bishops' initiative (letter) - Therese Vassarotti
Letters: Bishop Power (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: St Maria Goretti (letter) - Anne Buchan
Letters: 'Misandry' (letter) - Name and address supplied
Letters: Forgiveness (letter) - John Schmid
Letters: Visionary (letter) - Tom King
Letters: Newman (letter) - Rev Julius C. Stonehouse
Letters: Apologetics (letter) - Geoff Storey
Poetry: The New Year - D.C. Craig
Books: Bio-Engagement: Making a Christian Difference through Bioethics Today - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Eucharistic Devotion : renewing a timeless tradition / Heart of St Alphonsus - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Barb of Fire: Twenty Poems of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Beyond the Blue Glass: Catholic Essays on Faith and Culture, Aidan Nichols OP - Tracey Rowland (reviewer)
Books: Top Ten AD2000 Books for 2002
Books: Ideal Christmas Gifts from AD Books
Reflection: John Paul II on Christmas: 'the mystery of humanity redeemed by Christ' - Pope John Paul II

I refer to the critique of Newman's Parochial and Plain Sermons in the October AD2000.

It would have been ironic had the excerpts quoted appeared early in the series [which I assume was not the case], when Newman was still a Protestant, firmly convinced that the Church of Rome was demon possessed, or at least a Church "beside herself", sentiments which appear not to have been formally repudiated until 1843.

Then the call for "more fervent zeal ... indignation and compassion at the blasphemies of heretics" might reasonably have been construed as a protest at the recent [1829] passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act, following the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts a year earlier.

Such a call would certainly have received the enthusiastic support of many Protestants who were as "bigoted", "gloomy" and "fierce" in their religion as Newman could have wished.

One imagines not many admirers of Newman, nor Newman himself, would wish to go back to the rack and the thumbscrew. Nevertheless it seems reasonable to ask how much "bigotry", "superstition" and "gloom" a would-be disciple of Newman is expected to manifest in order to qualify as a conservative Christian.

Others, who entertain no such ambition, might even wonder whether Newman, by his possibly ill-chosen words, may not have innocently provided the reductio ad absurdum of the theme of his sermon.

REV JULIUS C. STONEHOUSE
Barham, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 11 (December 2002 - January 2003), p. 15

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