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NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 3 EDITORIAL PREFACE ‘WHO ARE THE LAITY?’ “I ANSWERED THAT THE CHURCH WOULD LOOK FOOLISH WITHOUT THEM—” In 1848,an Oxford convert,John Moore Capes (1812–1889),founded The Rambler, a periodical, whose “aim was to re-habilitate Catholic thought in a non-Catholic world”; within a decade, under the editorial leadership of another Oxford convert, Richard Simpson (1820–1876), and Sir John Acton (1834–1902), the publication combined“standards of scholarship previously unknown in Catholic journalism with attitudes critical of ecclesiastical authority which had become equally uncustomary.”1 However, if high-level scholarship was unusual but welcome, criticism of the hierarchy was not; so unwelcome in fact, that by the beginning of 1859, Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne (1806–1889),Newman’s ordinary,prevailed upon him“to secure the resignation of Richard Simpson from the editorship of The Rambler, in order to avoid its condemnation by the English bishops.”2 Ullathorne also prevailed upon Newman to accept the editorship of The Rambler; in order to salvage the publication,Newman acquiesced:“Nothing then was left to me but to become Editor myself, I do so most reluctantly. . . .”3 The new editor quickly found himself in difficulty as a result of remarks about the laity in the May issue, the first under his editorship. On 22 May 1859, Ullathorne called upon Newman to relinquish the editorship that he had so reluctantly accepted two months earlier. In a memorandum of their conversation, Newman recounted: He [Ullathorne] went on to say that the criticism in the Tablet of yesterday mainly expressed his views of it. He thought there were remains of the old spirit. It was irritating. Our laity were a peaceable set, the church was peace. They had a deep faith— they did not like to hear that any one doubted. . . . I said in answer that he saw one side,I another—that the Bishops etc did not see the state of the laity (e.g.) in Ireland – how unsettled, yet how docile. 4 Even if this quip does not represent Newman’s exact words, it is often cited as symbolic of his view of the role of the laity in the Church—a view with so many rich and varied dimensions that it could hardly be summarized in a single riposte, however memorable. 1 John Coulson, “Introduction,” in John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1961), 1–49, at 3. 2 The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, 19: xvi; hereafter cited: LD. 3 JHN to Cardinal Wiseman (The Oratory, Birmingham, 21 March 1859), LD, 19:86–87, at 87. 4 JHN, Memorandum (22 May 1859), LD, 19:140–141; for details about the article in the Tablet, see LD, 19:140, n. 1; for a longer account of Newman’s conversation with Ullathorne, see JHN to Edward Healy Thompson (The Oratory, Birmingham, 29 May 1859), LD, 19:148–151. NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 4 CONTENTS Some of these many theoretical dimensions—ecclesiological and ecclesiastical, epistemological and educational, historical and spiritual—and, of course, their contemporary applications—were explored at the annual conference of the Venerable John Henry Newman Association at Villanova University in 2005, whose theme was “Newman and the Laity.” The articles in this sixth issue of Newman Studies Journal—which incidentally is the largest to date—are clustered around two themes: first, Newman’s view of the laity, and second, Newman’s Mediterranean voyage in 1832–33. The introductory article by Jane Rupert examines Newman’s ideas—in theory and in practice—about the “Religious Formation of the Laity at the Catholic University of Ireland.” Then Edward Miller examines Newman’s views on the “Voice of the Laity”as providing some significant“Lessons forToday’s Church.” Next,William J. Kelly, S.J., considers Newman’s “Theology of the Laity” not only in terms of his innovative ideas in the nineteenth century, but also as “a Doctrine in Development.” Concluding this set of articles on the laity, Robert Christie examines a series of Newman’s recently published sermons on the Liturgy as the grounding for the laity’s spiritual and theological life. The second set of articles begins...


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