Cardinal Sins?
Monday July 07th 2008, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Site News

Roger Pearse has gone after Newman (and, by association, Pusey) with the vehemence and venom he usually reserves for the British Library. Oh my.


4 Comments so far
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Astonishing. The man who got reported to the Holy Office for advocating a role for the laity in the preservation of the Deposit of Faith–the man who was horrified at the “pray, pay, and obey view” of the laity–is accused of clericalism.

I don’t know what else Roger Pearse has written, but he has not impressed me with this one iota.

Comment by Geoff 07.07.08 @ 10:55 pm

It is an interesting post, though – if only to display the deep ignorance of the author.

Comment by Matthew 07.07.08 @ 11:08 pm

The clericalism charge surprised me, too. Newman, after all, wrote the book on consulting the laity in matters of doctrine; and it was he who countered the fellow who said that the province of the laity was “to hunt, to shoot, to entertain.” I imagine that Newman and Pusey went for clergy translators because (1) those were the people they knew and (2) those were the people ready, willing, and able to do the work. (I think, but am not sure, that Pusey’s son, the translator of Cyril, was a layman.) I’m impressed by their generosity!

But read more of Roger’s posts, Geoff. I link to them at least weekly, and in two years of my visits this is the only Pearse piece that gave me hives. Through his cooperative translation projects, he’s doing for patristics in our century what Newman and Pusey wished to do for the Fathers in their own day.

Matthew: I disagree with Roger on every point of that post; but, if he’s ignorant, I’m a brainless creeping thing who’s better sheltered under a rock. (I’ll need to check with my wife on this.)

Comment by Mike Aquilina 07.07.08 @ 11:08 pm

Interesting comments, and I appreciate the thoughts.

I don’t think that I wrote with venom. I don’t detest Newman, in the way that I do indeed detest the BL and all it stands for. I would in fact prefer to like him. I read his stuff on the Library of the Fathers with great interest.

But either I have been very unlucky in what I have read, or I’m picking up on a facet of Newman which is really there, was really felt by his contemporaries, and which those who love him perhaps do not see? As I say, for good or ill he falls outside the range of my sympathies.

Note that I was not discussing Pusey in any respect, since I know him only from reading snippets of Liddon’s biography. There he comes across as a sincere and endlessly self-sacrificing person.

Comment by Roger Pearse 07.15.08 @ 10:02 am



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