{200}

EPISTOLA
Qua Pius PP. X approbat opusculum Episcopi Limericiensis
circa scripta Card. Newman.

Venerabili Fratri
Eduardo Thomae Episcopo Limericiensi
Limericum

PIUS PP. X
Venerabilis Frater, salutem et Apostolicam benedictionem.

Tuum illud opusculum, in quo scripta Cardinalis Newman tantum abesse ostendis ut Encyclicis Nostris Litteris Pascendi sint dissentanea, ut valde cum iisdem congruant, vehementer Nobis probari scito: melius enim cum veritati servire, tum hominis dignitati non poteras. Apparet, inter eos, quorum errores per eas Litteras damnavimus, quasi quoddam constitutum esse factum, ut quae ipsi commenti sint, hisce e praeclarissimi viri nomine commendationem petant. Ita contendunt passim, se ex illo fonte et capite praecipua quaedam sumpsisse, ob eamque causam non potuisse a Nobis suas ipsorum improbari doctrinas, quin simul atque adeo prius improbarimus quae talis tantusque auctor docuisset. Quod, nisi cognitum sit, elati animi tumor quantum ad obruendam mentem valeat, incredibile videatur inveniri, qui sese putent atque {201} ostentent catholicos, quum in ipsa intima religionis disciplina auctoritatem privati doctoris, quamvis insignis, magisterio Apostolicae Sedis anteponant. Quorum non modo tu contumaciam coarguis, sed fallaciam. Nam, si in iis, quae hic ante catholicam professionem scripserat, licet fortasse aliquid deprehendere, quod similitudinem quamdam habeat cum certis Modernistarum formulis, iure id negas istis suffragari: propterea quod et longe alia ibidem est subiecta vocibus sententia, aliudque scribentis est propositum, et ipse auctor, in aditu ad Ecclesiam catholicam, omnia sua scripta Ecclesiae ipsius auctoritati detulit, utique emendanda, si viderentur. Quod autem ad libros attinet, quos magno vel numero vel pondere confecit catholicus, vix opus est, cum hac haeresi cognationem ab eis repellere. Etenim in luce Angliae, quod nemo ignorat, sic Henricus Newman perpetuo causam catholicae fidei scribendo egit, ut eius opera simul civibus suis maxime esset salutaris, simul a decessoribus Nostris maximi fieret: itaque dignus est habitus, quem Leo XIII, aestimator certe sagax hominum atque rerum, Cardinalem diceret; cui quidem in omni deinceps vita merito fuit carissimus. Profecto in tanta lucubrationum eius copia quidpiam reperiri potest, quod ab usitata theologorum ratione alienum videatur: nihil potest, quod de ipsius fide suspicionem afferat. Recteque affirmas, mirum non esse, si quum indicia haeresis novae nulla apparerent, certis quibusdam in locis non ita cautum adhibuit loquendi genus: sed perperam doloseque Modernistas facere, qui illa verba, invito totius orationis contextu, ad suam ipsorum sententiam detorqueant. Nos igitur gratulamur tibi, quod memoriam optimi et sapientissimi viri, pro tua scriptorum eius omnium notitia, egregie ab iniuria vindicaris: simulque, quantum in te fuit, effeceris, ut inter populares tuos, Anglos praesertim, iam desinant qui hoc nomine abuti consueverunt, imperitos decipere. Atque utinam illi auctorem rite sequantur Newman, non ita nempe ut praeiudicatis {202} opinionibus addicti scrutentur eius volumina, ex hisque dolo malo eliciant aliquid, quo illas confirmari contendant; verum ut sincera et integra eiusdem principia, documenta spiritusque percipiant. Multa e tali magistro discent praeclara: in primis autem, sanctum habere magisterium Ecclesiae, inviolate tueri traditam a Patribus doctrinam, et, quod caput est ad custodiam catholicae veritatis, Successori Beati Petri summa cum fide obsequi et obedire. Tibi praeterea, Venerabilis Frater, tuoque clero ac populo, quod missa communi stipe tenuitati Nostrae subvenire pie studuistis, grates agimus ex animo: atque ad concilianda vobis, primunique omnium tibi, divinae benignitatis munera, itemque ad testandam benevolentiam Nostram, peramanter Apostolicam benedictionem impertimus.

Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, die x Martii anno MCMVIII, Pontificatus Nostri quinto.

PIUS PP. X

[from Acta Sanctae Sedis,  vol. 41, 1908]


English translation, provided by Michael Davies, also included in Davies' Lead Kindly Light: The Life of John Henry Newman, Neumann Press, 2001.

LETTER
In which Pope Pius X approves the work of the Bishop of Limerick
on the writings of Cardinal Newman.
To his Venerable Brother
Edward Thomas Bishop of Limerick

Venerable Brother, greetings and Our Apostolic blessing. We hereby inform you that your essay, in which you show that the writings of Cardinal Newman, far from being in disagreement with Our Encyclical Letter Pascendi, are very much in harmony with it, has been emphatically approved by Us: for you could not have better served both the truth and the dignity of man. It is clear that those people whose errors We have condemned in that Document had decided among themselves to produce something of their own invention with which to seek the commendation of a distinguished person. And so they everywhere assert with confidence that they have taken these things from the very source and summit of authority, and that therefore We cannot censure their teachings, but rather that We had even previously gone so far as to condemn what such a great author had taught. Incredible though it may appear, although it is not always realised, there are to be found those who are so puffed up with pride that it is enough to overwhelm the mind, and who are convinced that they are Catholics and pass themselves off as such, while in matters concerning the inner discipline of religion they prefer the authority of their own private teaching to the pre-eminent authority of the Magisterium of the Apostolic See. Not only do you fully demonstrate their obstinacy but you also show clearly their deceitfulness. For, if in the things he had written before his profession of the Catholic faith one can justly detect something which may have a kind of similarity with certain Modernist formulas, you are correct in saying that this is not relevant to his later works. Moreover, as far as that matter is concerned, his way of thinking has been expressed in very different ways, both in the spoken word and in his published writings, and the author himself, on his admission into the Catholic Church, forwarded all his writings to the authority of the same Church so that any corrections might be made, if judged appropriate. Regarding the large number of books of great importance and influence which he wrote as a Catholic, it is hardly necessary to exonerate them from any connection with this present heresy. And indeed, in the domain of England, it is common knowledge that Henry Newman pleaded the cause of the Catholic faith in his prolific literary output so effectively that his work was both highly beneficial to its citizens and greatly appreciated by Our Predecessors: and so he is held worthy of office whom Leo XIII, undoubtedly a shrewd judge of men and affairs, appointed Cardinal; indeed he was very highly regarded by him at every stage of his career, and deservedly so. Truly, there is something about such a large quantity of work and his long hours of labour lasting far into the night that seems foreign to the usual way of theologians: nothing can be found to bring any suspicion about his faith. You correctly state that it is entirely to be expected that where no new signs of heresy were apparent he has perhaps used an off-guard manner of speaking to some people in certain places, but that what the Modernists do is to falsely and deceitfully take those words out of the whole context of what he meant to say and twist them to suit their own meaning. We therefore congratulate you for having, through your knowledge of all his writings, brilliantly vindicated the memory of this eminently upright and wise man from injustice: and also for having, to the best of your ability, brought your influence to bear among your fellow-countrymen, but particularly among the English people, so that those who were accustomed to abusing his name and deceiving the ignorant should henceforth cease doing so. Would that they should follow Newman the author faithfully by studying his books without, to be sure, being addicted to their own prejudices, and let them not with wicked cunning conjure anything up from them or declare that their own opinions are confirmed in them; but instead let them understand his pure and whole principles, his lessons and inspiration which they contain. They will learn many excellent things from such a great teacher: in the first place, to regard the Magisterium of the Church as sacred, to defend the doctrine handed down inviolately by the Fathers and, what is of highest importance to the safeguarding of Catholic truth, to follow and obey the Successor of St. Peter with the greatest faith. To you, therefore, Venerable Brother, and to your clergy and people, We give Our heartfelt thanks for having taken the trouble to help Us in Our reduced circumstances by sending your communal gift of financial aid: and in order to gain for you all, but first and foremost for yourself, the gifts of God's goodness, and as a testimony of Our benevolence, We affectionately bestow Our Apostolic blessing.

Given in Rome at St. Peter's, on 10 March 1908, in the fifth year of Our Pontificate.
Pius PP. X

Top | Contents | Canonization | Home


Newman Reader - Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.