Leading biographer makes clear: Newman was neither gay nor a dissenter
May 25, 2010
Responding to recent insinuations in the British press that Cardinal John Henry Newman was gay and was an intellectual forefather of today’s dissenters from Catholic teaching, Father Ian Ker, the author of the definitive biography of Newman, says that there is “irrefutable evidence of Newman’s heterosexuality.” The idea that Newman was a homosexual because of his friendship with Ambrose St. John comes from “the twentieth century, when the concept of friendship died.”
“I do know enough about Newman to know that he would belong to those who wanted reform at the Second Vatican Council but reform in continuity with the tradition of the Church, that is, to those reformers who include Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI,” he adds. “He was despised by extreme liberals in his own time for his deference to authority, and certainly could not be described as a liberal Catholic in today’s terms.”
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