22 April 2020

Dr Newman and the Coronavirus

S John Henry Newman in this passage  refutes the Proddy superstition that Catholic Priests do not themselves believe the Catholic Faith ... they are not as strupid as that ... but use it hypocritically to exploit a gullible laity. Here is his argument.

"What is their reward for committing themselves to a life of self-restraint and toil, and after all to a premature and miserable death? The Irish fever cut off betweeen Liverpool and Leeds thirty priests and more, young men in the flower of their days, old men who seemed entitled to some quiet time after their long toil. There was a bishop cut off in the north; but what had a man of his ecclesiastical rank to do with the drudgery and danger of sick calls, except that Christian faith and charity constrained him? Priests volunteered for the dangerous service. It was the same on the first coming of the cholera, that mysterious awe-inspiring infliction .... What could support a set of hypocrites in the presence of a deadly disorder, one of them following another in long order up the forlorn hope, and one after another perishing? And such, I may say, in its substance, is every misson-priest's life. He is ever ready to sacrifice himself for his people. Night and day, sick or well himself, in all weathers, off he is, on the news of a sick call. The fact of a parishioner dying without the sacraments through his fault is terrible to him ...".

Times change; we might nowadays be rather more aware of the danger of the priest himself actually coneying an infection. But when every allowance has been made, I do think that this passage raises awkward questions.

1 comment:

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father, In 1901, using the Penny Catechism, Father M. Gavin S.J. began a series of conferences at Immaculate Conception, Farm Street London, explaining the Catholic Doctrine of The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in one of these conferences he observed;

If you wish to find a people who have kept the faith through an almost passionate lovef or the Mass, look at Ireland, where in Dublin alone some 40,000 hear Mass daily.

There are many reasons why there is barely observable faith now existing in the Ol’ Sod but at least part of the problem is identified in last sentence of this worthy book:

No thoughtful man can suppose that a multiplication of liturgies (vernacular languages) can do else than diminish the reverence of the faithful for the adorable Sacrifice of the Altar.