Saturday 28 November 2009

Cardinal Newman is not patron of dissenting Catholics

I was pleased to read last night the inside story on the meeting between Cherie Blair, the wife of the former British prime minister, and Reverend Jack Sullivan, who was healed through Newman’s intercession in 2001.  The post appeared yesterday on The Cause for the Canonisation of John Henry Cardinal Newman.

It turns out that Jack was taken, in an unscheduled arrangement, to see Cherie Blair for a private visit, without being told about her prominent campaigning opposition to Catholic Church teaching on the culture of life.  The Newman Cause had been completely unaware of the visit, reported in Times Online (‘Discovering Newman the priest’) and is in this week’s edition of the Catholic Herald (November 27th ‘Jack Sullivan reflects’ p. 11).

Mrs Blair is pictured above cutting a special 75th anniversary birthday cake for FPA and offering the cameraman a condom.

The Newman Cause blogpost states:
"As soon as he was made aware of Mrs Blair’s record of public dissent from the Church’s teaching, Jack requested that all reference to meeting her be removed from the published recollections of his visit. The article on Times Online was duly amended yesterday (November 26th), but unfortunately Jack’s request came too late to remove the reference to Mrs Blair from the print version of the Herald.

"The conjunction of Mrs Blair’s ‘conscientious’ dissent from the teaching of the Church with Jack Sullivan’s apparent endorsement of her could do harm to Newman’s reputation, and that is our reason for posting this clarification. Newman is indeed the great teacher of the rights and duties of conscience. It is of the greatest importance that his teaching is not used to make him the patron of Catholics, like Cherie Blair and others, who in the name of conscience practice dissent from the Church’s teaching ..."
"Amen" to that I say. What on earth is the motivation behind arranging such a visit, without telling Reverend Jack Sullivan the truth about Cherie Blair?  Make sure you read the full blogpost, especially Catholics  - who need to know what's being done in their name.

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