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Newman and Islam

By Jeff (articles ) | Mar 20, 2003

149 years ago on this day, Blessed Pius IX issued Optime noscitis, his encyclical epistle to the Irish hierarchy on the proposed Catholic university of Ireland ( The saintly pontiff notes, "As We know that you have already chosen Our beloved son, Father John Henry Newman, to govern that university, We want to approve your choice that this priest, blessed with such wonderful gifts of mind and soul and endowed with piety, sound doctrine, and zeal for the Catholic religion, assume the care and governance of this university and preside over it as Rector."

The year before, Newman had delivered a series of lectures, now sadly neglected, on the history of the Turks, in which he surveys the conflicts between Christendom and Islam ( These lectures seem like fitting reading on this melancholy day, when a largely post-Christian power wages war against a Muslim tyrant.

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