Blessed John Henry Newman at last!

(Soon to be Blessed) John Henry Newman

(Soon to be Blessed) John Henry Newman

Zenit reports:

Pope Approves Cardinal Newman Miracle
Recognizes Martyrdom of Dachau Victim, Spanish Priests

VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2009 ( Today, Benedict XVI authorized the promulgation of decrees recognizing miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtue in several causes for canonization.

A Vatican communiqué reported that the Pope received in private audience Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, and authorized the congregation to promulgate the following decrees.

Miracles attributed to the intercession of the following:

— Blessed Cándida Maria de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola (1845-1912) (born Juana Josefa), Spanish founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus.
— Servant of God John Henry Newman (1801-1890), English cardinal and founder of the Oratories of St. Philip Neri in England…

Etc. Etc. The list is long, but the main character in the list for English speaking Catholics would have to be number two on this list, the unofficial Patron Saint of all modern day converts to the Catholic Faith, John Henry Cardinal Newman.

We are overjoyed. What a pity that there are no 1st class relics left to venerate…

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12 Responses to Blessed John Henry Newman at last!

  1. John Weidner says:

    “He knows whose vessel he has entered; it is the bark of Peter. When the greatest of the Romans was in an open boat on the Adriatic, and the sea rose, he said to the terrified boatman, Cæsarem vehis et fortunam Cæsaris–“Caesar is your freight and Caesar’s fortune.” What he said in presumption, we, my dear brethren, can repeat in faith, of that boat, in which Christ once sat and preached. We have not chosen it to have fear about it; we have not entered it to escape out of it; no, but to go forth in it upon the flood of sin and unbelief, which would sink any other craft…”

    • Schütz says:

      Which just goes to show, John, that the next step after his beatification and canonisation must be his elevation as a Doctor of the Church.

      Question: Does anyone know whether one must be declared a Saint before one can be declared a Doctor of the Church?

  2. John Weidner says:

    Looks like the answer is close to no…

    Catholic Encyclopedia:
    “…To these great names others have subsequently been added. The requisite conditions are enumerated as three: eminens doctrina, insignis vitae sanctitas, Ecclesiae declaratio (i.e. eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity, and proclamation by the Church). Benedict XIV explains the third as a declaration by the supreme pontiff or by a general council. But though general councils have acclaimed the writings of certain Doctors, no council has actually conferred the title of Doctor of the Church. In practice the procedure consists in extending to the universal church the use of the Office and Mass of a saint in which the title of doctor is applied to him. The decree is issued by the Congregation of Sacred Rites and approved by the pope, after a careful examination, if necessary, of the saint’s writings. It is not in any way an ex cathedra decision, nor does it even amount to a declaration that no error is to be found in the teaching of the Doctor. It is, indeed, well known that the very greatest of them are not wholly immune from error. No martyr has ever been included in the list, since the Office and the Mass are for Confessors. Hence, as Benedict XIV points out, St. Ignatius, St. Irenæus, and St. Cyprian are not called Doctors of the Church…”

  3. Joshua says:

    Ahhh, that last point is very enlightening – a Martyr is not a Doctor, because quite arguably one who has borne witness “usque ad mortem”, in sincerest closest following of He Who is Faithful and True, is on an altogether different level to one who has merely taught Truth, however wonderfully…

  4. Joshua says:

    Note, however, that Paul VI declared the first female Doctor – St Teresa of Avila – and John Paul II the second – St Thérèse of Lisieux.

  5. Joshua says:

    Oh, and I forgot – how could I! – St Catherine of Siena, who’s also been made a Doctor of the Church.

  6. Kiran says:

    Technically though, I don’t think he is declared a blessed as yet, although I have always wondered what the status of “venerable” actually amounts to. I mean, is it the recognition of a cultus? Is it something like the medieval beati?

    I think Tertullian and Origen are both included among the Doctors (or am I getting Doctors and Fathers confused?). One wonders also about Bl. John Duns Scotus, who now has an approved Cultus, but was known for quite a while as “Doctor Subtilis” (translates approximately to “No one knows what he means, but we think he is on to something”) before he had one. So, I would say no.

    If I may so indulge myself, this is my favourite image of the cardinal.

    • Joshua says:

      Kiran –

      good to write to you by the way, I trust you’re well – the title “venerable” basically means that they are judged worthy of paid paid due regard on account of having lived a life of heroic virtue, without yet having been affirmed as definitely working wonders and therefore in heaven… wierdly enough, this approximates to the most Protestants would admit of deceased Christians: that their sterling example renders them worthy of imitation and praise.

      No, no, no: both Tertullian and Origen are neither Fathers nor Doctors, for necessary marks of both are sanctity and dying in the fold: the former lapsed into a schism and heresy, the latter one held many views posthumously condemned and was never regarded as a saint, so they can be styled “ecclesiastical writers” only. The Roman Breviary deliberately excluded both because of this, though the Dominican Breviary wasn’t so picky.

      Don’t mistake “Doctor of the Church” status for “mediæval nickname” status – there are at least a hundred titles the Schoolmen accorded various of their number, such as Doctor Exstaticus for Denys the Carthusian, yet these congratulatory monickers were never considered as making persons Doctores Ecclesiæ: in mediæval times, that honour was reserved to the Four Latin and Four Greek Doctors.

      Only at the Counter-Reformation, I think, did the Papacy begin to add official Doctors of the Church to the old lists, as part of the centralizing tendency of the time.

      • Kiran says:

        Okay. I have heard both Tertullian and Origen being referred to as Fathers, I think. Indeed, Newman refers to Tertullian as the most brilliant of the Fathers. Habits of speech I suppose.

  7. John Weidner says:

    Kiran, that’s a very fine picture. Thanks! I’ve added it to my collection.

    Here’s my favorite. Maria Giberne was a friend of the Newman siblings, and a good amateur artist. She remained a loyal friend to John after he was mostly estranged from his own brothers and sisters. She eventually converted and became a nun in France.

    This is the Newman of the tracts, and of Sermons Plain and Parochial.” I scanned it from Maisie Ward’s biography, Young Mr. Newman.

  8. Louise says:

    Lovely images of the Cardinal there.

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