Wednesday, September 29, 2004

On September 29, 1843
Venerable John Henry Newman, who was in the midst of resigning his ministry as an Anglican clergyman, wrote to his sister Harriett:

I do so despair of the Church of England, and am so evidently cast off by her, and, on the other hand, I am so drawn to the Church of Rome, that I think it safer, as a matter of honesty, not to keep my living.

This is a very different thing from having any intention of joining the Church of Rome. However, to avow generally as much as I have said would be wrong for ten thousand reasons. People cannot understand a man being in a state of doubt, of misgiving, of being unequal to responsibilities, &c.; but they will conclude that he has clear views either one way or the other. All I know is, that I could not without hypocrisy profess myself any longer a teacher and a champion for our Church.

Very few persons know this—hardly one person, only one (I think) in Oxford, viz. James Mozley. I think it would be most cruel, most unkind, most unsettling to tell them.

My dear Harriett, you must learn patience, so must we all, and resignation to the will of God.

Harriett refused to speak to her brother after his reception into the Catholic Church, and until she died she insisted that he would reconsider and become Anglican again. She had not reconciled with him when she died in 1852.


Post a Comment

<< Home