Canonisation of John Henry NewmanPosted on 11th October 2019

This Sunday Blessed John Henry Newman will become the first English Saint in over three hundred years. As one of the greatest theologians of the 19th century, Newman’s contributions to the development of the Catholic Church have been recognised and accepted at a particularly interesting time. 

Newman promoted a nuanced relationship between the more liberal and conservative threads of religious thought in the 19th century. He disputed the more liberal religious movements as he believed that not all religious development was positive simply because it had come from a place of authenticity. However, he also disputed the idea that doctrine was a static document, making it the role of the Church to guide their flock to replicate the lives of individuals in the Bible and remain true to traditional ways of life. In summary, he posited that the role of the Church was to distinguish between positive and negative religious development that came from the continuous examination of doctrine carried out by the individual.

One of Newman’s most famous quotes “I will drink to my conscience first, and the Pope second”, underpins his most significant contribution to theology. Newman described the conscience as an innate human practise of reviewing one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviour to a significant other. Consequently, Newman’s ascension into sainthood represents an official and permanent acceptance of Newman’s theological work. With attendance rates in church mass declining and ideologies of individualism continuously being promoted, Newman’s sainthood acts as a reminder to the Catholic Church that Catholicism is a process of individual analysis and reflection, and guidance and accountability.

To celebrate Newman’s canonisation, we are delighted to offer FREE John Henry Newman prayers cards with every order (while stocks last)!

"God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission; I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling.” - John Henry Newman


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