Skip to comments.'Saint' Cardinal Newman's relics (what's left of them) removed from the grave of his friend.
Posted on 10/04/2008 6:06:57 PM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
It was Cardinal Newman's dying wish that he be buried with his closest friend in the grounds of the house they had shared as priests.
But now, nearly 120 years after his death, Britain's most famous convert to Roman Catholicism is to be reinterred in a sarcophagus in preparation for his becoming a saint, leaving the remains of his friend behind.
The decision to separate the remains of John Henry Newman and Ambrose St John has upset figures in the Church and led some to question whether it is embarrassed about their relationship.
They are buried in a grave in a secluded cemetery on the outskirts of Birmingham. But Newman is being moved to the Birmingham Oratory in preparation for his beatification.
Elena Curti, deputy editor of The Tablet a respected Catholic journal expressed regret that the cardinal's final request was not being observed.
"It's clearly documented that he wanted to be buried with his close friend and it's a pity that his dying wish is not being respected," she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Minor point but, the article reads...
"...Cardinal Newman's dying wish that he be buried with his closest friend..."
Not that there's anything wrong with that!
The idea that he wanted to be buried with his "friend" is creepy.
“making him an idolatrous object of veneration”
I’ve never looked at the practice like that before, but thinking about it now...
2. The BBC reported that Cardinal Newman's body was not found. That makes it sound like somebody stole it -- but a wooden coffin in damp ground is not going to impeded total decomposition. Nothing about 'scraped out what was in his coffin regardless', unless you simply mean the bits of wood & coffin plate remaining from his coffin. Source?
3. Exhumation is S.O.P. when a cause for sainthood is pending. Certain phenomena such as incorruptible corpses, odor of sanctity, inexplicable preservation of parts of the body (e.g. St. Anthony of Padua's tongue), are observed in the case of some saints.
4. Since they didn't find his body, he wasn't moved, so he got his wish after all.
5. Preservation of the relics of a saint is not idolatrous. Nobody's worshipping the saint's mortal remains! I know plenty of folks find it odd (it's more common in Latin than Northern European countries, but then again Germany has the astounding spectacle of the bejeweled skeleton of St. Munditia, Virgin Martyr, in the Peterskirche.)
I still think digging up the grave was tacky.
Mostly only to those shallow folks to whom "close friendship" equates to "[forbidden] sexual relationship" -- but I'm willing to allow for other interpretations. And yours is...?
Male friendships are now viewed with suspicion, but that's a relatively recent development (and has a lot to do with homosexual campaigners like the man slandering Cdl. Newman and Fr. Ambrose St. John - and you ought to see the story in the Daily Mail!)
As C.S. Lewis commented in his book The Four Loves,
To say that every Friendship is consciously and explicitly homosexual would be too obviously false; the wiseacres take refuge in the less palpable charge that it is really unconsciously, cryptically, in some Pickwickian sense homosexual. And this, though it cannot be proved, can never of course be refuted. The fact that no positive evidence of homosexuality can be discovered in the behaviour of two Friends does not disconcert the wiseacres at all: That, they say gravely, is just what we should expect. The very lack of evidence is thus treated as evidence, the absence of smoke proves that the fire is very carefully hidden. . . .
Hrothgar embracing Beowulf, Johnson embracing Boswell (a pretty flagrantly heterosexual couple) and all those hairy old toughs of centurions in Tacitus, clinging to one another and begging for last kisses when the legion was broken up...all pansies? If you can believe it you can believe anything.
There’s something wrong with honorable friendship? I suggest that you read Aristotle and Cicero on the subject.
De Amicitia was especially influential.
Is Aristotle a FReeper, too?
“Can anyone explain to me how it is justified to violate a man’s last will and testament like this for the sake of making him an idolatrous object of veneration?”
Since venerating the saints is not idolatrous, your question is based on a false premise. Try again, this time maybe with a little more respect for the dead as well as for Christianity.
Is Aristotle a FReeper, too?
No he was a Greek and Greeks know all about male friendship. I saw it on their vases.
To Roman Catholics: Am I wrong for thinking that as soon as I pass on what happens to my body after my departure is irrelevant to my soul? Do saints' remains acquire some special magic, maybe sometime after their death? (I don't see this in the Bible, though I remain puzzled by the Turin shroud -- which among many things tells me indirectly that I do not have all the answers.)
We read Aristotle’s “Poetics” in high school. It provided a useful theoretical framework for understanding “Gilligan’s Island” and “Monty Python.”
Thank you for this!
Am I wrong for thinking that as soon as I pass on what happens to my body after my departure is irrelevant to my soul?
No, you are correct.
Do saints' remains acquire some special magic, maybe sometime after their death?
The relics of the saints have been used by God as a channel of grace to work miracles. The remains of the prophet Elisha are an Old Testament example. Many of the saints, like Elisha, worked miracles when they were alive, too.
I think it's often just an example of the Cool Old Stuff phenomenon, though. Mummy of Rameses II? Cool! Corpse of Lenin? Eeeew? Varina Davis picked out those curtains herself? TACKY!
And I was fascinated as a child by the preserved corpse of one Mr. Hogenboom, who died in the Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic in the 1790s and was buried in a corner of the graveyard that was saturated with limestone water . . . so he was saponified, i.e. turned to soap. They have taken him off exhibit in a fit of political correctness since I was a kid, though.
But if you don't get dug up, eventually you get excavated by a bulldozer or paved over for a subdivision . . . .
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. And I shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I will see my God. Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another: this my hope is laid up in my bosom.
I want straight hair.
“The idea that he wanted to be buried with his “friend” is creepy.”
Not to those who understand Christian friendship. You might want to read Aelred of Rievaulx’s twelfth century classic called Spiritual Friendship (Cistercian Fathers 5, $12.95). I assume I’ll be buried in my family plot, but I wouldn’t fret over being buried with my Christian brothers and sisters who are as dear to me as any family member. I also would not mind if my heart were interred at Altotting (but I’m not a Wittelsbach).
Be sure to ask for it, but be sure you want it . . . my hair's been straight as a board all my life and will not take ANY curl at all, and no clip or barrette will hold it. Makes it hard to have a "hair-do"!
I remember my university teaching days when I worked in a department that taught the Epic of Gilgamesh to almost every student in the university. The latest fad was to talk about the “homoerotic subtext” of the friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. When I questioned this obvious idiocy, one of my colleagues - a flaming liberal - said, “Well, the text says that Gilgamesh loved Enkidu.” To that I responded, “Yes, and it also says Gilgamesh loved his sword. That doesn’t me he had sex with it.”
Not surprisingly the conversation ended on that point. I love it when that happens.
“To Roman Catholics: Am I wrong for thinking that as soon as I pass on what happens to my body after my departure is irrelevant to my soul?”
Anything that happens to your body is irrelevant to your soul after the body dies. To tell you the truth, it’s pretty much that way when you’re body is alive too, isn’t it?
“Do saints’ remains acquire some special magic, maybe sometime after their death?”
No. God doesn’t do magic. He does do miracles, however.
“(I don’t see this in the Bible,...”
See Acts 5:15 where even Peter’s shadow healed people!
I also suggest you read 2 Kings 13:21.
“... though I remain puzzled by the Turin shroud — which among many things tells me indirectly that I do not have all the answers.)”
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Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
LOL! I’m going to file that comeback away for future reference.
If he wasn’t Catholic, you would think it was creepy too.
“If he wasnt Catholic, you would think it was creepy too.”
Who is “he”? If he were Jewish, would that mean I would find it “creepy” he was buried with a lifelong friend who shared his work? No, I don’t think so. Jewish burial societies, Chevra kadisha, used to purchase land so that Jews could bury friends and family members according to Jewish customs - and apparently that included burying friends along with families they were not related to. I do find the Gibraltar Jewish community’s habit of NOT burying husbands and wives together odd, however. I guess since they were never allowed to sit side-by-side in synagogue so in death....
There are three steps to becoming a canonized saint.
This is from Catholicity.com
**In official Church procedures there are three steps to sainthood: one becomes Venerable, Blessed and then a Saint. Venerable is the title given to a deceased person recognized as having lived heroic virtues. To be recognized as a blessed, and therefore beatified, in addition to personal attributes of charity and heroic virtue, one miracle, acquired through the individual’s intercession, is required. Canonization requires two, though a Pope may waive these requirements. Martyrdom does not usually require a miracle. **
I made a mistake there. Found that on Catholicpages.com
George Washington was very fond of the Marquis de Lafayette. Guess old George was gay in your opinion.
Forget I said anything. Washington had a wife and children and never asked to be buried with his friend. George was never a high ranking member of an organization that has historically had a homosexual problem.
False, Washington had an older wife, with lots of land, and stepchildren, no children.
Also false, Washington was in the army, which has such a noticeable homosexual problem that it had to institute rules to prevent it. Rules which did not exist at his time. And Washington was buried with a friend, his 'wife' Martha, who was certainly a good friend.
if washington had asked to be buried with his friend franklin, I would think he was gay too.
I found this article along with many others on the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Site:
“AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said. Kansas City Bishop Raymond Boland says the AIDS deaths show that priests are human.”
First this number is about one tenth of one percent of the priests who have served in the US in the last 50 years. Second. the general population includes women, who are much less likely to get aids then men, priests or not.
The article refutes that
You are talking about a few hundred priests out of the 110,000 who have served in the last 50 years.
It has been my experience that those who are obsessed about homosexuality, and make unproven and unproveable charges of this condition tend to be a little light in the loafers themselves (see Mark Foley).
I have a general question.
Are Catholics and the Catholic Church itself placing any value on relics today? (My Catholic school nuns and Catholic relatives were when I was a child.)
If the Catholic Church does believe that relics have spiritual potency could someone explain the reasoning behind this belief?
“an idolatrous object of veneration”
I am hearily sick of these constant attacks from the ignorant theological left. Therefore, from now on, I shall respond to them in a manner befitting their utter lack of merit.
I shall respond to all such malign, boneheaded sallies from the theological left (protestants) by asserting, “All protestants, each and every one of them, bugger a little boy every day.”
That will be as true, as charitable, and as honest as the statements to which it responds.
“the Kansas City Star reported today”
If that rag reported that Sarah Palin had once starred in a donkey show in a Tijuana brothel, you’d be quick to realize they were lying. Yet when they print this garbage, you’re all over it like a duck on a june bug.
“I don’t see this in the Bible”
You don’t see it in the protestant Bible. You do see it in unabridged editions.