Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal John Henry Newman

In 2005 a small book was published by Catholic journalist and broadcaster Peter Jennings, entitled, simply: Benedict XVI and Cardinal Newman.

Zenit News ran a brief article at the time of its publication, from which we gather the following description:

"Benedict XVI and Cardinal Newman" was presented to an audience of Curia members, journalists and pontifical university students during an upright English, yet relaxed Roman affair.

The glossy book is filled with select writings from both Church figures and other leading English clergy, and is edited by longtime religious commentator Peter Jennings.

Produced in only six months (from the time of the papal election), Jennings' book clearly presents Benedict XVI's keen interest in this convert from Anglicanism which dates back to his seminary days.

Declared venerable in 1991 for heroic virtues, the cardinal's effect on the current Holy Father is recognized throughout the writings in the new book.

These include introductory addresses given by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the symposium "John Henry Newman, Lover of Truth," to his address on conscience and truth, presented at a bishops workshop in Texas.

Jennings told me how he tried to enhance the in-depth chronology of Newman's life by using previously unpublished pictures like that of Newman in his role as founder of the English Oratory of St. Philip Neri, from the archives of the Birmingham Oratory.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell the book is only available through various bookstores in the UK -- although some copies may be purchased through Amazon's UK website.

On August 26, 2010, it was announced that Peter Jennings was given the task by the Bishop's Conference of Wales & Scotland of compiling the official record of the historic State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, to be published by the Catholic Truth Society in October:
Peter Jennings said: “It is an honour and privilege to have been invited to compile the official record of this historic State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI, culminating as it does with the beatification of Cardinal Newman.”

Mr Jennings added: “I was baptised by the eminent Newman scholar Fr Stephen Dessain in the Newman Memorial Church situated next to the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston, where Cardinal Newman lived from 1852 until his death on 11 August 1890, aged 89. I have worked on the Newman Cause since the Holy Year of 1975, helping to raise the world-wide profile of Cardinal Newman not only as a great academic, theologian, writer and preacher but in particular as a holy pastoral parish priest who looked after the sick and poor in Birmingham.”

See Also

  • The Influence of John Henry Newman on Benedict XVI, by Tracey Rowland. ABC Religion and Ethics | 16 Sep 2010. "Few English speakers seem to realise the extent to which Newman influenced German Catholic thought in the first half of the twentieth century, and particularly the theology of Joseph Ratzinger."
  • Newman, Sophie Scholl, and Joseph Ratzinger - Carl Olson (Insight Scoop) observes a personal connection between Cardinal Newman, Joseph Ratzinger and German heroine Sophie Scholl, martyred for resisting the Nazis.
  • Ratzinger the Professor: the influence of Cardinal Newman - The Cause for the Canonisation of Cardinal Newman reports on a new book by Gianni Valente, published in Italian: Ratzinger Professore: Gli anni dello studio e dell’insegnamento nel ricordo dei colleghi e degli allievi (1946-1977) (Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, s.r.l., 2008) [‘Ratzinger the Professor: the years of study and teaching as recalled by his colleagues and students’] -- which addresses Newman's influence on Ratzinger's theological development.
See Cardinal John Henry Newman online archive for news, articles and books on the thought of England's most renowned theologian.

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