Monday, July 14, 2003

Since I can no longer blog on Sundays....
I'm a day late with this: On July 13, 1852, at the first Provincial Synod of Westminster, Venerable John Henry Newman preached what is considered by many to be his finest sermon, The Second Spring.

The part about it being an uncertain, English spring is especially poignant when one remembers that when he was preaching this, Fr. Newman had just been through the harrowing ordeal of the Achilli Trial, a classic miscarriage of justice in which the word of one man prevailed over massive amounts of testimony, simply because he was perceived as being a victim of a "Romanist plot". (Even the Times of London, no friend of Catholicism, said that the proceedings were " indecorous in their nature, unsatisfactory in their result, and little calculated to increase the respect of the people for the administration of justice or the estimation by foreign nations of the English name and character. We consider that a great blow has been given to the administration of justice in this country, and that Roman Catholics will henceforth have only too good reason for asserting that there is no justice for them in cases tending to arouse the Protestant feelings of judges and juries." ) The Venerable had been enduring the storm, and it was not yet over- he had to wait months for sentencing, wondering whether or not he was going to end up in jail. (He made arrangements to celebrate Mass there, just in case, but as things turned out, he was not sent to prison- merely fined.)


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