The Newman Cause – Editorial on conversion

Perhaps I seemed to be a bit whingy in my last post about Anglicanorum coetibus?  I really was clumsily trying to express my feelings about the difficulties converts to Roman Catholicism from a certain kind of Anglicanism face.  They are unique difficulties, which, say, a Baptist or Methodist or even a ‘low-church’ Anglican would experience and they are primarily tied up with the notion of holding the Catholic faith, while being outside the communion of the Catholic Church.

The Cause editorial makes the point forcefully that the experience of the Anglo-Catholic coming into the Catholic Church is founded on the search for the Church: where is this Church that Christ founded and the Holy Spirit guides and the Father’s defended?  Of course for the man (or woman) who is received into the communion of the Catholic Church, the answer has become quite clear.  He may not, as Newman puts it, have felt “any change…in [his] mind, or firmer faith in the fundamental truth of Revelation” but he will certainly feel that he has “come into port”, he will be able to “gaze on her [the Church] as a great objective fact” without having to strive at every point to imagine her.

Meanwhile, certainly in the modern Church, he may have an experience which Newman did not write about (but which I’m sure he did actually experience in the times of his persecution): the sense that “conversion” equals for many of his new Catholic acquaintances “transformation”, just what the Tablet advocates and which the Cause editorial sees through with great clarity.

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Filed under Anglicanism, Catholic Church, Newman

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