The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Get to know our Parish Saint – Who was Cardinal Newman?

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In our sixth instalment of Newman's life, we examine Newman's crisis of faith..

Episode 6 - Crossroads: Newman's conversion ‘Like coming into port after a rough sea.'

Before his conversion, Newman's main difficulty with the Catholic Church was that it had seemingly added much to the Christian faith that could not be found in early Christian history or in Scripture, things like purgatory and papal supremacy. This led him to undertake an extensive historical study, the fruit of which would break new theological ground, his work Newman Lifeentitled Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Here, Newman explores the paradoxical idea that, for an idea to remain truly itself, it must be able to change, to develop. Fundamentally, he came to realise that an idea or doctrine was like a living thing.

On October 8th, 1845, Fr Dominic Barberi (now a Blessed), an Italian Passionist priest who was in England as a missionary, arrived at Littlemore in the pouring rain. While the guest dried himself by the fire, he suddenly found one of the greatest minds in the established church kneeling at his feet and asking to be received into the Church of Christ. Newman was received in the Catholic Church the following day. He described of his conversion that it was ‘Like coming into port after a rough sea.'

Next week: A mixed reception: Newman as a new Catholic

Published Fri 23rd Aug 2019 23:45:46
Last Modified on Fri 23rd Aug 2019 23:50:07

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