“Has not all our misery as a Church arisen from people being afraid to look difficulties in the face?”

“The more implicit the reverence one pays to a Bishop, the more keen will be one’s perception of heresy in him … those, who have cultivated a loyal feeling towards their superiors, are the most loving servants, or the most zealous protestors.” — Newman

I saw this on Twitter but I lost the tweet.  I found the source of the quote, however.

On Christmas Day of 1841, Bl. John Henry Newman wrote a letter to Rev. G.W. Church.

Let’s see it, with some bits and pieces redacted.  My emphases.

REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO REV. R. W. CHURCH

Christmas Day: 1841.

[…]

Has not all our misery as a Church arisen from people being afraid to look difficulties in the face? They have palliated acts when they should have denounced them. There is that good fellow Worcester Palmer can whitewash the Ecclesiastical Commission and the Jerusalem Bishopric, and what is the consequence? That our Church has through centuries ever been sinking lower and lower, till a good part of its pretensions and professions is a mere sham, though it be a duty to make the best of what we have received. Yet, though bound to make the best of other men’s shams, let us not incur any of our own. The truest friends of our Church are they who boldly say when her rulers are going wrong and the consequences. And (to speak catachrestically) they are most likely to die in the Church who are (under these black circumstances) most prepared to leave it.

And I will add that, considering the traces of God’s grace which surround us, I am very sanguine, or rather confident (if it is right so to speak), that our prayers and our alms will come up as a memorial before God, and that all this miserable confusion will turn to good.

Let us not, then, be anxious and anticipate differences in prospect, when we agree in the present.

P.S.— […]

[Y]et they should recollect that the more implicit the reverence one pays to a Bishop, the more keen will be one’s perception of heresy in him. The cord is binding and compelling till it snaps. Men of reflection would have seen this if they had looked that way. Last spring a very High Churchman talked to me about resisting my Bishop; asking him for the Canons under which he acted, &c. But those who have cultivated a loyal feeling towards their superiors are the most loving servants or the most zealous protesters. If others became so too, if the clergy of —— denounced the heresy of their diocesan, they would be doing their duty and relieving themselves of the share they will otherwise have in any possible defections of their brethren.

[…]

There are interesting items in there, no?  For example:

And (to speak catachrestically) they are most likely to die in the Church who are (under these black circumstances) most prepared to leave it.

SSPX, anyone?  Not that the SSPX has left the Church.  They are not schismatic, as some claim.  But, this line from Newman was poignant.   BTW… I won’t allow the rabbit hole Cupich hole of SSPX status to dominate the combox.

Meanwhile, speaking of Newman, I remind the readership that one of my items of swag HERE

Here is a shot of the regular sized coffee mug… I’ll bet you could put your yogurt and granola in it too.

To be deep in history
And the larger one.

 

T

There is also now a MEGA-size.  Very handy.  I use that size all the time now.

Anyway…  the whole graphic.

One of the benefits I derive from sales of these mugs, etc., is that I can use the credit that accrues in my account to send mugs to priests and bishops who do great things!  For example, I recently sent some swag to Fr. Hunwicke.  I’ve sent items to, for example, Fr. Lankeit and Bp. Vasa, etc.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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3 Responses to “Has not all our misery as a Church arisen from people being afraid to look difficulties in the face?”

  1. dbonneville says:

    Where’s a Lefevre mug? :)

  2. JesusFreak84 says:

    I don’t mean to go down a Cupich-hole, and I hope my comment is not interpreted as thus, but I would say the quote applied to the SSPX even, to a smaller degree, at the start, would apply to the sedes, (SSPV, CMRI, not so much Francis-specific sedes.) They reacted worse and breaking from the Papacy was wrong, but they reacted to a lot of the same problems that the SSPX did, (no surprise, given that the SSPV forked from the SSPX, and I mean forked as in source code more than a fork in the road.)

  3. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Newman wrote this at the end of 1841. Within four years he would indeed leave “the Church” as he understood it when he wrote this and be received into the Catholic Church.

    For this reason I suggest that statements of the early, Oxford Movement Newman should be treated with caution.