Dear Editor, In an article on Cardinal Newman that was otherwise informative, Kat Keogh seemed to lose her sense of objectivity when addressing the controversy of the man’s friendship with Ambrose St. John.
Firstly, she stated that Peter Tatchell’s fears of “grave robbery” proved unfounded.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Not only were some items taken from the grave, but the very act of opening the grave and creating an alternative resting place at the Oratory constituted a symbolic grave-robbing, contrary to the express wishes of a man the Church claims to revere.
Newman would have been the first to say that the question of whether bones were moved or not is quite irrelevant.
Ms Keogh then went on to quote at some length an academic described as a “Newman scholar”.
This Dr Ker presented the diary writings of a 15-year-old Newman as irrefutable proof of his lifelong heterosexuality. It is hard to describe such an argument as anything but laughable: one only has to imagine Dr Ker’s reaction to an alternative diary entry.
If the adolescent Newman had confided homosexual feelings to his diary, undoubtedly Dr Ker would be arguing strenuously that adolescent sexual feelings are often “confused and temporary”.
He cannot have it both ways – unless Oxford University has drastically lowered its academic standards of late.
Ultimately, the sexual orientation of John Henry Newman is neither here nor there. But these attempts by the Church and its apologists to write his friendship with Fr St. John out of the official history reveal something more significant.
They speak volumes about the Catholic Church’s pathological inability to deal humanely with this most human of issues.
Rory Murray, Moseley,
Dear Editor, The Papal visit to Birmingham raises a pertinent question: How does the Pope know that Jesus was born of a virgin and resurrected bodily after death?
The only answer the Pope could give is that this “fact” is mentioned in the Bible. Now this raises another question: How does the Pope know that the Bible is the verbatim word of God? The only answer to be given in any language that does not make a mockery of the word “know” is – he doesn’t.
Eddie Sanders, Great Barr