Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Controversial Newman Quote

"There are but two alternatives, the way to Rome, and the way to Atheism: Anglicanism is the halfway house on the one side and and Liberalism is the halfway house on the other" - Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman.

This I think is a little uncharitable, but I definately get where he's coming from. There's a simplistic metanarrative of Western European historiography that holds the Renaissance to be an individualizing period of "ad fontes" (back to the sources) movement followed by the Reformation which made religion individualistic and attacked hierarchy and absolute monarchy, and that this ushered in democracy and intellectual freedom and thus followed the Scientific Revolution and the Non-Christian "Enlightenment" which secured Atheism. This is way too simplistic, but it does make sense on a grand scale. The problem is that I think Confessional/Historic Protestantism is just as Dogmatic as Roman Catholicism, and likewise Anglicanism was Caesaro-Papism which consolidated Royal Power and increased anti-democratic pro-royalist ideas.

Still, an interesting quote of Newman (after he became Catholic) that you will see on many Catholic apologetics sites.

1 comment:

  1. Notice how Newman's quote implicitly equates Rome (i.e. the papacy) with God. This is why the dogma of my tradition (Westminster Confession of Faith) called the papal office anti-Christ.