John Henry Cardinal Newman, a 19th century convert to the Catholic Church from the Church of England, has had a tremendous intellectual influence on both Anglicans and Roman Catholics. His thought had a particularly strong impact on Joseph Ratzinger, who as Pope Benedict XVI traveled to England to oversee his beatification on 19 September 2010.
In January of this year, Pope Benedict established a so-called “Anglican Ordinariate” in the United States so that congregations of Anglicans, or Episcopalians, could enter together into the Catholic Church under the leadership of their own “Ordinary”, a former Episcopalian clergyman who will be seated in the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and retaining features of the Anglican liturgy. These developments have sparked a renewed interest in this remarkable theologian and scholar of the Church of England.
While an Anglican clergyman and don at Oxford University, Newman’s studies brought him to seek a restoration to the Church of England of many of the ritual practices and doctrines common to medieval Catholicism. This gave rise to what was known as the Oxford Movement which may perhaps be seen as reaching its goal in Benedict’s establishment of the Anglican Ordinariates.
However, despite the amazing accomplishments of this man, he was not always looked upon as a success. Father Stravinskas, a great Newman scholar with two earned doctorates, will present a lecture with the intriguing title: “John Henry Cardinal Newman: The Failure”.
Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas is a noted American priest, classicist, scholar, and author. He has written and edited many books, including The Catholic Church and the Bible, Understanding the Sacraments, The Catholic Encyclopedia, and many others. He is the Founder of the Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Newman House Press, and The Catholic Response. He is also the founder and president of the St. Gregory Foundation for Latin Liturgy.