26 October 2018

Newman's Daily Blog

Realitywise, there are people who look at a blog, some blogs, often the same blogs, regularly every day. Own up ... well, I do it myself. It occurs to me that a similar experience can be had by dipping daily into the letters of a diligent and acute letter-writer. Of course, it is not the same as reading a blog, because, obviously and obviously, Blessed John Henry Newman is not writing for the Internet but for particular individual correspondents. But ... you see what I mean.

Yes, I have been dipping into the Blessed's correspondence, at the moment LDXXV (Letters and Diaries Volume 25). In this, the 1870-1871 volume, our Ordinariate's Patron is often found dealing with the problems thrown up for ordinary devout Catholics by the persecuting hyperueberultrapapalists of his own day. His was a profound and loving ministry towards those whose faith and membership of the Church was sorely tried by the dominant clique ("the violent and reckless party") in Rome, and their associates in England ... not least, the then Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who relentlessly muddied the waters of sound doctrine with his grossly exaggerated accounts of the nature and powers of the Papal Office. (Newman's own relieved reaction to the text of the Definition of Papal Infallibility was "Nothing has been passed of consequence". He reminded the troubled that no account had been given of what the term ex cathedra  meant and that by defining the Papal Ministry the Council had in fact limited it.)

I may spring upon you some Newman snippets from time to time. If I remember, I may label them Fromthecardinalsdesk.

Here's a starter:
Fromthecardinalsdesk: "A pope is not inspired. I know you will find flatterers and partizzani such as those whom St Francis de Sales calls 'the Pope's lackies' ... "

I wonder what S Francis' French for 'lackies' was. We stand much in need of such specialised vocabulary nowadays. The Italian 'partizzani' is a good start.

Interesting that JHN selected a particular Italian dialect form of this rather 'international' word. Is there a story here?


GOR said...

If I recall correctly, didn't Blessed JHN spend time in Sicily...? Accordingly, 'partizzani' is most likely a local variation of 'partigiani' or partisans.

It certainly sounds like the Neapolitan or Sicilian dialect and would fit the bill nicely in the context.

Adrian said...

He also has an unusual if not incorrect spelling for the English word 'lackeys'. Perhaps his Italian orthography is similarly wayward.