Chapter 25. The Appeal to Rome (1867)

{151} THE true sting of the 'secret instruction' lay in the interpretation which was being put on it by many, and not disclaimed in authoritative quarters—that Newman's residence in Oxford was feared in Rome because of the influence it would give him in disseminating his theological views. And these views were represented as more or less akin to the worldly Catholicism, the semi-Catholicism (as it was regarded) of the now extinct Home and Foreign Review. The impression as to his 'minimistic' theology—to use the slang phrase of the day—was being confirmed by W. G. Ward's articles in the Dublin Review, in which he insisted on his own analysis of the extent of Papal Infallibility as the only orthodox one. These articles were republished in 1866 in a volume entitled 'The Authority of Doctrinal Decisions.' With this volume Newman was known not to agree. He thought it unhistorical and untheological. Yet in the temper of those times there was a disposition to regard the theory which ascribed most power to the Pope, as indicating the most whole-hearted Catholic orthodoxy [Note 1]. Manning gave his support to the Dublin theory; more especially to its maintenance of the infallible certainty of the teaching of the 'Syllabus,' and consequently of the necessity of the Temporal Power of the Papacy, on which that document insisted. Mr. Martin's letter in the Weekly Register intimated (as we have seen) that suspicion of Newman's orthodoxy was at the root of the objection entertained at Rome to his residence in Oxford. Newman from the first saw that this would at least be generally supposed, and realised the evil consequences of such a supposition. If he were under a cloud, if his {152} views were supposed to be seriously suspect, how could he work with any good effect as the champion of the Church in Oxford? Ever cautious in action, he did not finally decide to postpone any further step in the Oxford question, without first consulting Hope-Scott. His feelings are presented in two letters to Hope-Scott. The first was written on the very day on which he learnt the existence of the 'secret instruction':

'April 6th, 1867.
'The real difficulty is this—what is the worth of my voice at Oxford if I am under a cloud? Already the Protestant periodicals have said that I am not a sound Catholic. I am told so every day. If my opponents can succeed in getting the Pope to grant an inquiry, and keep it hanging over my head for two years, it will be enough. I am for two years unauthoritative and worthless. At the end of two years I may be past work, or anyhow I go to my work with a suspicion on me which an acquittal will not wipe off. If then I take the Oxford Mission in the second week after Easter, I am simply putting my foot into it, and entangling myself with a responsibility and a controversy without any corresponding advantage. I have several weeks yet before I need determine—and various things may happen before then—but I must be prepared with my decision by May 5th, and there is not too much time to have a view on the matter.'

'April 11th, 1867.
'I assure you the letter in the Weekly Register was no laughing matter—the whole Catholic public has been moved. Some friends in London are moving to get up an address to me. The Paper is to make a formal apology next Saturday. It has been a most happy letting the cat out of the bag. If you were in the controversy, you would see that the one answer flung in my teeth is that Manning is of one religion and I of another. If such a letter as that in the Weekly Register was allowed to pass, I should be in a very false position at Oxford. The Bishop at first thought the secret opposition so serious that he wanted me last Christmas to postpone any measures at Oxford for six months, and it was mainly your advice to begin immediately which made me move sooner.

'Then again you don't understand the doctrinal difficulty. There is a great attempt by W. G. Ward, Dr. Murray of Maynooth, and Father Schrader, the Jesuit of Rome and Vienna, to bring in a new theory of Papal Infallibility, which {153} would make it a mortal sin, to be visited by damnation, not to hold the Temporal Power necessary to the Papacy. No one answers them and multitudes are being carried away,—the Pope, I should fear, gives ear to them, and the consequence is there is a very extreme prejudice in the highest quarters at Rome against such as me. I cannot take Oxford unless I am allowed full liberty to be there or here, and unless I have an assurance that there are no secret instructions anywhere. Of course I write all this in order to get your opinion,—but I don't think you have a view of the facts.'

Hope-Scott was now more alive to the situation, and counselled at all events a suspension of operations as to the Oxford Oratory. The evil must be dealt with at its source. Newman informed him that Ambrose St. John and Bittleston were on their way to Rome. Hope-Scott was sanguine that Rome would be thoroughly satisfied with their explanations, and could even be got to approve of Newman's being sent to Oxford for the purpose of working there against the infidelity of the day. To any attempt to secure such approval, Newman, however, was opposed; the idea would not appeal to Rome, he thought, and anyhow he did not wish himself to ask to be sent to Oxford on any ground. But that his loyalty and orthodoxy should be fully vindicated in Rome he was most anxious, and the Oxford plan itself would be a matter for further consideration when the issue of St. John's mission on this head was known. Newman was indignant that his loyalty to the Holy See should be impeached by anyone. He welcomed Father Ignatius Ryder's forthcoming pamphlet in reply to W. G. Ward, now on the eve of publication, as a protest, backed by most weighty theological authority, against making loyalty synonymous with extreme theories which the most careful students of history and theology could not accept. Moreover, while the Pope and his entourage—what Newman called the political party in Rome—had given some encouragement to Ward, the best Roman theologians were known to have rejected many of his statements. Anyhow, Newman seems to have been anxious that his double protest—in England through Ryder, in Rome through Fr. Ambrose St. John—should come without further delay. His two letters of instruction to {154} Ambrose St. John (to which there is reference in their correspondence) I have not found; but their purport is apparent from St. John's own letters. That feeling ran high, and very high, is plain. To omit all the expressions of strong feeling would be to take the life and reality out of the correspondence. I therefore give it without material abridgment.

The first of Newman's letters which is extant is the following:


'The Oratory, Birmingham: April 28th, 1867.
'My dear Ambrose,—We had the letter and telegram from Marseilles. I wrote to you on Tuesday a letter to the Collegio Inglese, which must have travelled in the same boat as you. You will get it with the one I sent about a week ago.

'Also, I wish you to get me a Cameo, from 10s. to 1l., if possible, say a brooch for a present to one of the K.'s who is going to be married. I would rather have small and good than large.

'Also, I think it would be a considerable saving if you got a number of really good medals blessed by the Pope, as prizes for the boys instead of books. No one reads a prize book lest he should spoil it. Also if you could get some really good religious prints, to be blessed by the Pope, for the same purpose. I should say the subjects of medals and pictures should be St. Peter and St. Paul; St. Philip; Our Lady; Crucifixion; Madonna & Child, &c., &c. Also, I think you might get a number of Pagan things cheaper and more lasting than books—such as wolf-articles in giallo or rosso antiquo, &c. But in mentioning the idea I have said enough.

'I suppose Ignatius's pamphlet will be out tomorrow. Besides Bellasis saying it will make a row, Stanislas writes saying he hopes it will be delayed till after your return, and Pope wishes delay. But I think it had better come out—what harm can it do? I shall by it be making capital out of the signatures to the address. Of course you may have it thrown in your teeth, that an awful pamphlet has come out from the Birmingham Oratory with a great flourish of lies—but we don't want to get anything, and my monkey is up. If there is anything [unsound] in it, which I do not think there is, we must withdraw it. As to clamour and slander, whoever opposes the three Tailors of Tooley Street, [Manning, {155} Ward, and Vaughan] must incur a great deal, must suffer,—but it is worth the suffering if we effectually oppose them ...

'As to Hope-Scott's notion of your trying to get me to Oxford to oppose infidelity, it won't hold; (1) because if I ask to go to Oxford for any purpose, I take up a new position—I never have asked to go there, the Bishop has asked me; nor have I any dealings with Propaganda, but the Bishop with it. (2) As if they cared a jot to keep Protestant Oxford from becoming infidel! As if they did not think Protestantism and Infidelity synonymous!'


'May 3rd, 1867.
'Your welcome letter, notifying your arrival at Rome, got here on Wednesday at noon.

'I have just had a letter from Father Perrone, so very kind that you must call on him and thank him. He says he always defends me. Also Father Cardella said Mass for me on St. Leo's day. Thank him too.

'Ignatius's Pamphlet is just out, but we do not hear anything about it yet.

'If it ever comes to this, that you can venture to speak to Barnabo on the secret instruction, you must say that people gave money to the Church on the express condition, as the main point, that I should reside a great deal in Oxford. Hence his precious instruction made me unwittingly collect money on false pretences. Far as it was from the intentions of the Most Eminent Prince, he co-operated in a fraud. Distil this "blande suaviterque" into his ears.

'A. B. has been here. He says I should have had an Address from the clergy, but Manning and Patterson stopped it on the plea that it would be thought at Rome to be dictating. He speaks of the clique having had two blows,—(1) my leave to found an Oxford Oratory; (2) Mr. Martin's letter. Heavy blows both. C. D. reeling under the first, went to Oakeley and blew up Propaganda. Ward writes to Dr. Ives that what they have to oppose in England, as their great mischief, is Father Newman. He has written to Monsell that there are "vital" differences between us. Is not this the Evangelical "vital religion" all over? and is he not dividing Catholics into nominal Christians and vital Christians as much as an Evangelical could do in the Church of England? A. B. says that Vaughan is sent by Ward to Rome,—he has now got back ... Ward says that he loves me so, that he should like to pass an eternity {156} with me, but that whenever he sees Manning he makes him creep—(I have not his exact words)—yet that Manning has the truth and I have not. A. B. thinks that Manning will throw Ward over—that is, next time.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .

'Ward has answered my present of Ignatius' pamphlet. He complains of its personalities—of its referring to the "Ideal." [His letter] is very mild and kind, and has melted Ignatius somewhat—but it says that, in spite of his personal liking for me, we must regard each other in a public point of view with "the greatest aversion"; and we belong to "different religions"! Finally he invokes an ecclesiastical decision. No decision can make us "of different religions." Is it not vital Christianity all over?' [Note 2]

Newman adds the following postscriptum:

'May 4. The Bishop has just sent me the opening words of the Letter of the Episcopal Meeting to Propaganda. "The Bishops have strenuously laboured to give effect to the principles which they themselves have inculcated as to the perils of mixed education—and although some twelve youths from Ireland, the Colonies, or England, have entered the University from our Colleges, yet of the whole, one only of the number had been educated in the Oratory School of Birmingham,—and it is to be trusted that all of them have remained firm and strong in their faith. It is not, however, the less certain that the arguments which the late eminent Archbishop and the Bishops laid before Propaganda, Dec. 13th, 1864, continue in all their strength, and have received new force from subsequent experience." Observe (1) it almost seems, judging from this extract, as if the Bishops were not prohibiting Oxford,—but perhaps the "Declarations" from Rome will be published forbidding. (2) they are too fair to us in saying that only one Oxford man has been educated by us—for R. Ward has been. (3) I shall answer the Bishop saying that I suppose now Propaganda will not take an exceptional course with us—but will apply the "directe vel indirecte" to all the Colleges or none. (4) Dean brings a report that the Jesuits are to have a sort of "Collegium Romanum" in London. This may be intended to justify a prohibition.

'May 5th. I have answered the Bishop thus: "I trust Cardinal Barnabo will no longer think it necessary to make my case an exceptional one, and to impose on me personally an obligation which he has imposed on no other priest in England, viz. to be careful to have nothing to do directly or indirectly with preparing youths for Oxford. To avoid indirectly preparing them for Oxford I must either shut up the School or teach the boys Latin and Greek badly."

How Father St. John and Father Bittleston prospered with their task in Rome is best shown in their own letters. Their reception was cordial on all hands. The Holy Father had been apprised of their mission and its object, and had passed his all-powerful word that the greatest kindness must be shown in all that regarded Newman. The letters make it clear that the atmosphere in Rome was far more favourable {157} to Newman than that in the extremist circles in England. Indeed, the Roman officials were evidently disposed to regard the Englishmen on both sides as quarrelsome 'cranks' who made much ado about nothing. All that was insisted on was that the Roman decrees against mixed education should be attended to, and no encouragement given to Catholics to go to Oxford. These decrees formed part of a large policy on which Rome had decided for English-speaking Catholics at the time of the foundation of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland. Indeed, this policy had been the raison d'être of the Catholic University at Dublin. It was being pursued throughout Christendom (as we have already seen) in primary and secondary education alike. Its object was to make sure of a thoroughly Catholic education for all the faithful in a day of indifferentism. The Church was becoming once more, as in Apostolic times, only a 'little flock,' and Catholics must make up in whole-hearted zeal and esprit de corps for what they lacked in numbers. Cardinal Barnabo appeared ready to take the most favourable view of all Newman's actions past and present, provided that the opposition of the Holy See to mixed education was respected; and he considerably mollified St. John by his friendly language. Newman, however, declined to share in any such gentler sentiments. Monsignor Talbot, after some meetings in which he betrayed embarrassment, became in the end wholly friendly. William Palmer, brother of Roundell Palmer (afterwards Lord Selborne), a convert and a friend of Newman, was in Rome, and helped the Oratory Fathers in various ways.

The only substantial charge against Newman was that he had declined to explain or retract his Rambler article on 'Consulting the Faithful on matters of Doctrine,' which had 'given pain' to the Pope. The article had been regarded as maintaining that the 'teaching Church' had in the fifth century in some way failed in performing its functions: and such a contention was unorthodox. Against the above charge Newman's defence was quite conclusive: he had formally written to Cardinal Wiseman, who was in Rome when the charge was made, offering to explain the passages objected to if the accusation was formulated, and not left as a vague charge of 'error' without specification as to what orthodox {158} doctrines the article had impugned. But Manning had afterwards given him a semi-official notification that no further explanation was required. It looked, on the other hand, as if the original objection to the article had been an instance of what tried Newman so much, making the vague impression produced by it on the casual reader—whose knowledge of theology, or even of English, might be imperfect—the test of its orthodoxy. These were the ways of diplomats, not of theologians. 'It created a bad impression' was the phrase current at Rome. Newman was supposed to have preferred a serious charge against the Ecclesia Docens; and to do so argued at least a want of loyalty to the Holy See. Serious historical studies could not be carried on if the accuracy of their conclusions was measured by such a test. Any treatment of history which made for the power of the Popes, however unscientific or false to fact it might be, created in this sense a 'good impression'; all, however undeniably true, which showed that Popes or Bishops had made mistakes, made a 'bad impression.' In such an atmosphere the most immediately effective retort to his accusers was the one chosen by Ambrose St. John, that such a highly approved historian as Baronius had recognised as historical facts certain deficiencies in the action of the members of the Teaching Church in the past. If the busy practical officials were perhaps no more familiar with Baronius than with Newman, such long-acknowledged authority as that of the great Roman Oratorian and Cardinal sufficed as a guarantee of orthodoxy.

The following letters narrate the proceedings of the Fathers in Rome from the first interview with Cardinal Barnabo on April 30, to the audience with the Holy Father on May 4:


'Hotel Minerva, Rome: April 30th, 1867.
'My dear Father,—I don't know how much Ambrose has told you of his talks with Neve, Bishop Brown, and Palmer, but having learnt that Cardinal Barnabo would be at Propaganda this morning at ten o'clock, thither he proceeded, carrying a book for Monsignor Capalti from the Nunziatura at Paris, and, before finding the Secretary, he stumbled (I am copying from Ambrose's journal) on the Cardinal himself who said, laughing: "Oh! so you are come from Newman: e così, {159} così ideato" (I could not make out his meaning) "we will talk about it this evening." "Shall we come this morning?" "No!" (The Cardinal was going to congresso.) "Come tonight at the Ave Maria." He seemed in good temper and laughed, and intended evidently to be very courteous. Ambrose then found Monsignor Capalti, introduced the subject of his journey to Rome by saying that he had come to explain Father Newman's real sentiments in regard to the Oxford question, and also to answer any questions that might be put to him concerning his obedience to the Holy See, &c., all of which he understood had been called in question,—that he had come for no favour, but simply to explain. "Well," he said, talking very fast the whole time and wishing to throw the onus of the whole matter on somebody else's shoulders, "have you seen the Cardinal?" "No! I am to see him tonight, but I thought it would be well to see you, Monsignor, and to explain matters to you." "Well then," he said, civilly enough, but thinking me a great bore, "Father Newman has not been attacked at all in his own person (nella sua propria persona)," and this he repeated several times, for he was very well up with the line of argument, and he knew the whole state of things, although he pretended it was not his business. "No;" he said, "it is only for the sake of Catholic parents. The Holy See has had but one idea (unica idea) throughout, to discourage parents from sending their sons to Oxford—this it will never depart from. It wishes for a better Mission at Oxford for the sake of the Catholics there, but it does not wish to have Father Newman residing there; for this would be to give too much importance to Oxford. Let them have there a good priest to make their confessions to, but not a man like Newman—that would be to encourage them." Again and again he repeated this. He said: "the Bishop of Birmingham 'pover' uomo' had made some equivoco about the terms of the concession of the Oratory foundation,—but that the Holy See had one view, and he hoped Father Newman would fall in with it, and act in the spirit of it, viz. not to allow himself to be persuaded to go and fix his residence there,—that would be giving so decided an encouragement that it could not be done." Then I tried to get in a word. "Father Newman, I can assure you, has always acted in the spirit of obedience to the Holy See in this matter. He himself does not, and has not wished to go to Oxford. I can show you exactly what his opinion is on the subject, for he has written it down for me, and I will read it to you if you like." "Well, {160} thank you, no—thank you—shall I keep it?" "No," I said, "I would prefer letting the Cardinal Prefect tonight know Father Newman's real sentiments, but I can assure you he has not himself wished to go to Oxford, nor does he now wish it." "Then we are all agreed," said he, "and the whole thing can be settled in two words—good-bye—there is a Patriarch waiting for me—basta—you will see the Cardinal tonight."

'So far the journal. Ambrose said he tried, after saying you had no wish to go to Oxford, to put in a word for the other view, and what your friends wished, and the great work for Protestants, &c., and the scandal of stopping it, &c., &c., but he would not hear a word of it …
'Ever yours affectionately in St. Philip,

Further particulars of the conversation are given in a letter written on the following day by Ambrose St. John himself:

'One very good thing is that Cardinal Barnabo has made a clean breast of all that can really be said here against you. He was very patient, spoke at great length, and gave me time to say all I could think of. I suppose I was an hour and a half with him. As soon as he read your letter he said: "Ah! 'vanissimae calumniae,' just so"; I said I was ready to explain, on your part, anything he had to say. Then he began: "Father Newman has good reason to complain of the treatment, but it is not my doing. He ought to have been told at once that the Sacred Congregation did not wish him to go himself to Oxford. The Bishop has made a great mistake; he ought to have told him our instructions and not have allowed him to compromise himself with the laity by collecting subscriptions when he was left in the dark as to conditions. The Holy See has had but one view all along. Since the question of the mixed colleges was raised in Ireland, the Holy See would never sanction mixed education; nor can it do so now indirectly by permitting so important a man as Newman to go to Oxford." He did not use the word "residence" throughout ... Father Newman had very properly suppressed his circular and sold his ground, and there the matter ought to have ended; but then he bought other ground and the Bishop gave him the Mission and this brought up the matter again; then the Holy See though maintaining always its one view had granted a conditional leave for the Oratory just that the way might be tried whether it was possible to do some good to Oxford {161} without undoing all that had been consistently done against mixed education. So, though he was against it, a majority carried the vote for leave on condition that Father Newman did not go to live there—(so I understood him to say). In all this there had been nothing against Father Newman. I have always upheld him, he said ... It was the Pope himself who had insisted on the special condition being put in against Newman going to live at Oxford, as his going to Oxford would give too much weight to the position of Catholics there, and inevitably encourage Catholic students to go. This the Holy Father could not make himself a party to. In all this there was nothing personal to you. Then he went on confidentially to say in what he did think you wrong. You stuck to your own way. He gave as his authority for this the late Cardinal, and he brought up the matter of the London Oratory. He said you had then stood on your rights. You had said to him (Barnabo): "Io sono Fondatore." Here I interrupted, though he tried to go on. Your Eminence must allow me to speak. I was the speaker on that occasion, and I remember no such words, certainly not in the sense of implying that you had any rights over their house; you had come to Rome solely to defend your own house; we were told what Rome did for them would bind us. "Ah, well," he said, "that is over now. Faber is dead; then there was Manning's being made Archbishop, that had hurt you." "You really don't know the Father at all," I said, "if you think so." "Well," he said, "I hear things said. At Manning's consecration Father Newman just came there, but he wouldn't come to the breakfast and went away. This was very much felt by all present. This was a want of conformity to the Pope's mind." There was however one more important matter on which you had shown yourself very unyielding. It was on the matter of the Rambler, of which you were editor. Some passages in it had displeased the Pope greatly, and he had insisted on their being explained. He had written to Dr. Ullathorne and he had answered that he had called on you and found you ill in bed; that he could not get more out of you than that you would give up the Rambler, which you had immediately done, giving it into the hands of "that Birbonaccio Acton, who, by the bye, is here!" but though you were told to write an explanation you had not done so. Then I said: This I was sure was untrue, whoever said it. You had to my certain knowledge, for I had been always at your side, never been asked authoritatively to explain any {162} special passage, that you had expressed your readiness if required to withdraw or explain anything that might be objected to; but I was sure you could give his Eminence proofs of what you had done if you were asked; and that I would write to you about it. I said I was sure on my conscience these things would never be said of you by anyone who knew you. Then he spoke again very angrily of the Bishop, saying that this was another instance of his misinstructing them; and that we would see him in Rome in June and talk to him on the subject. He seemed pleased by what I said on the subject. I spoke warmly, and said it was a pity the Bishop had been afraid to speak out to you, that you were not to be feared in such a matter, &c. He then said: "Now, pray tell Father Newman that in all this matter about Oxford he has not lost the smallest fraction of the estimation in which he is held in Rome." I thanked him warmly for this, for he spoke with much feeling. Then I said: "Your Eminence's frankness and kindness in what you have just said, makes me desire that you should know his real sentiments on the Oxford matter. He has never been urgent for it, but has always pointed out the difficulties to parents. It is true he thinks, and others think more than himself, that Oxford would be a very great field for meeting the great difficulties of the day; you cannot imagine, I said, how much his opinion is valued in England. In Oxford all could come to hear him. It presents such a field." Then I told him the state of parties in Oxford; how much you were valued and the conversions that might be expected. "Ah," he said, "Father Newman must write and work in Birmingham. If he cannot gain a hundredfold, he must be content to gain thirty fold,—he may do a great deal yet." Then I spoke of our school, said it had been founded expressly to feed the Catholic University in Ireland. "Ah," he said, "we ought to have a Catholic University in England." Upon this I read in Italian the passage you sent me from your letter of your opinions concerning Oxford Education. That a Catholic University was the true education, but necessity had no laws. He said he quite agreed with that. I asked "should I read him your whole sentiments." "Not now," he said, "but if you wish prepare a memorial and it shall be considered when we meet to speak together on the Bishops' memorial." Then he spoke of scandal given by Catholics at Oxford. Talbot had told him. Why didn't I go to Talbot? Didn't I know him? Then I flared up: "How can I go to him; he has said most monstrous things about Father {163} Newman. He said he subscribed to Garibaldi." "Oh! come, not that," he said, "you had better go and see him and talk with him. Well, you must see the Pope. Come tomorrow and I will give you a letter to Pacca for an audience." So for that we wait, and I do not know what more we have to do. I have told Palmer and Neve, and they both think good has been done. I wonder whether you will think so. I have done my best, dear Father. I wish it was in better hands. Good-bye. All well, I will write again soon.
'Yours affectionately,


'Rome, Albergo della Minerva: May 2nd, 1867.
'Dearest Father,—Buona Festa on this your day to you. I said Mass for you in St. Philip's room at St. Girolamo this morning ...

'I have been with Palmer all the morning, who, good fellow, has been employed on the Bishop's notes which I borrowed from Neve, making out a paper which I am to send you and which he strongly advises me to leave with Barnabo and bring home with me to show the Bishop. He says it will never do in after times to let the Cardinal whitewash you at the expense of the Bishop. Whatever faults the Bishop may have committed, he has been your friend, and it won't do to leave him in the lurch ... We have not yet received our time for an audience with the Pope, but I expect the audience this week. Talbot is entirely (so Neve says) Manning's tool, and hears from him three times a week everything great and small. He is not all powerful with the Pope, and the Pope snubs him. The Pope declares he won't have you dealt with, with anything but the greatest carità, and I believe really the Italian Prelates in authority, as Cardinal Barnabo, Cardinal de Luca, and others, are not at all to be counted with the English Manning faction. Dr. Reisach also is said to be moved towards you. Nardi is a humbug,—praises you and blames you according to his company. Father Smith is your most powerful enemy,—says everything you write is satirical, &c. He or Talbot sent your Sermon [Note 3] to the Index. The English "readers," as they are called, examined it, and Father Modena, the chief, declared there was nothing whatever in it that could be {164} objected to, upon which Talbot said: "I told you so," and Smith cried out: "Well, but it is a satire on his own Bishop from beginning to end," on which Palmer told the said Smith: "Either Dr. Newman then must be an ass to satirize his Bishop who has nothing to do with the Temporal Power, or the man that says so is an ass. Now nobody says Newman is an ass; ergo, he who says Newman satirizes his Bishop is an ass." Smith became more cautious on this. He is a great big, mouthing, good-natured (so they say) Irishman who blusters about, a popular lecturer in Theology at Propaganda, and who sees a great many English whom he takes to the Catacombs. This is what I gather from Neve and Palmer.

'Palmer says that he has no doubt that, whilst the Pope and Barnabo only want to carry out their unica questione how to prevent a system of mixed education gradually getting a footing in England, the English party, of which Ward is the brains, are determined to prevent your going to Oxford on Theological grounds. Ward told Palmer himself that he should oppose it with all his might, for it would give you influence and enable you to propagate your views. The two parties are quite distinct. Neve said he thought Father Ryder's pamphlet would be hailed by Roman Theologians, who are by no means Wardites. He likes the pamphlet very much. I told him to keep it very quiet. Only fancy, Talbot came to him and said, spluttering out as he does: "So Neve they tell me you are a Newmanite," upon which Neve gave him a good jobation ... I think the Italians think us all—Manning, Talbot, you, Ward, &c.,—a lot of queer, quarrelsome Inglesi, and just now the Pope thinks his Sejanus (this is Palmer's profanity) has had his own way too much. Well, we shall see. I told you Barnabo said to me: "I am sure Newman is really 'un sant' uomo,'"—he listened with great interest to what I told him of your influence in England. Well, I shall know more when I have seen the Pope.
Ever yours affectionately,

'Father Perrone was most warm to me,' St. John writes on May 3. 'I met him at the Sapienza where Monsignor Nardi took me. He said he had written to you and he told me he was your warm friend. "So tutto tutto, e ne parleremo." He is a consultor of Propaganda and has a vote. I called on Reisach and am to see him tomorrow. I am now going to Talbot, who cut me this morning at the Collegio Inglese. {165} However I shall go and call, for Barnabo told me to do so. The principal matter now is the article in the Rambler years ago.


'May 3rd, 1867.
'We had caught sight of Talbot at St. Peter's one day; he was sitting down talking with A. B. and we got out of his way. On Friday morning we were just standing at Neve's door, on the point of going in, when Talbot came by. We bowed and he bowed and passed on into Neve's room and kept us waiting no end of time. In the afternoon we called. He came up to us, shook hands as if wishing to be friendly, said how time altered people, and there was some little pleasantry about growing fat, as if to excuse himself, I thought, for not having taken notice of Father Ambrose in the morning at Neve's. Ambrose broke in by saying he came by desire of Cardinal Barnabo, to give to Monsignor Talbot any information he wished touching Father Newman's conduct in the Oxford matter, &c. Then Talbot said he would give a history of the whole affair—condemned Manning, yet said there were some things against Newman. The Holy See was always against youths going to Oxford. The Pope proprio motu wished everything to be done to dissuade parents. About three years ago, there were two youths here who wished to have an audience of the Holy Father, which Talbot procured for them. The Holy Father asked them what they were going to do; when they said they were going to Oxford, he jumped up and said vehemently: "I entirely disapprove of it ... The Bishops of England, in obedience to the Holy See, admonished the clergy to dissuade parents, &c.,—still Father Newman went on at Edgbaston preparing boys for Oxford—he referred to Towneley and another, and besides he had seen a letter to a lady here from one of the Professors, which said that Newman made no difficulty of boys going to Oxford and that it was his work to prepare for it." ... Ambrose said that our school was commenced to feed the Catholic University of Dublin—that there was no special preparation for Oxford—and that they went from other schools as much as from ours.

'He spoke of the Rambler. The article "On consulting the faithful" had been delated by the Bishop of Newport, for heresy. The passage he complained of was (he was quoting from memory) "that for sixty years, the Ecclesia docens was in suspension, and the faith was preserved by consensus fidelium." {166} 'Talbot said, speaking for himself, that "the passage, as it stood, was no doubt heretical." Still, out of consideration for Newman the Holy See would not condemn it, or call on him for an explanation. He did not know exactly what had been done, but he saw a letter of Father Newman to the Bishop of Birmingham in which he said that he hoped at any rate they would not send for him to Rome. So out of mercy (and I think Talbot said he had himself pleaded for him) the matter was dropped—only Newman knew from his Bishop that they wanted an explanation or retractation of that passage. Consequently he was under a cloud, and he felt it himself; for for three years he had not opened his mouth until he was called out by the "Apologia." Ambrose said warmly and more than once, it was a very cruel kindness. The Father felt keenly any impeachment of his faith—to touch him in that point was to touch the apple of his eye—but it would never hurt him in the least if he was told plainly if any exception was taken to his expressions or statements, and was always ready in obedience to competent authority to retract or explain, &c., &c.'


'Rome: May 4th, 1867.
'Dearest Father,—Well, we have had our audience with the Pope, and it has passed off very well and pleasantly indeed. The Holy Father was not at all cold or angry, quite the contrary. He began by saying with a very kind smile: "Well, so you are come from Father Newman as my dear sons. I do not in the least doubt Father Newman's obedience, but now in this matter of mixed education my mind is made up not to give it any encouragement, so I have always said as to improving the Mission at Oxford, that I greatly desire, but I cannot encourage anything which would lead Catholics to go there. Years ago when a certain Signor Corbally (I think) wished to get my approbation for the Cork Colleges, I refused, and I have not changed." Then I began: "Holy Father, no one more than Father Newman has spoken of the dangers surrounding a young man going to Oxford, and he has always himself been loth to go there, as he knew his name would attract Catholic students there, but Father Newman is a man of great charity to whom many persons apply, fathers of families and others, and he was greatly desirous to assist those poor souls who might find themselves {167} (by their fathers' doing, not theirs) at Oxford, because circumstances are such in England that there being no Catholic University parents are driven into a great difficulty for the education of their sons—there are dangers everywhere, and it was to meet those dangers Father Newman at last consented to go to take the mission." "Yes," he said, "the Bishops are meeting about it, and then we shall decide." Then or before, I forget which, he spoke of those who were not Catholics di cuore, and I am sorry to say he mentioned Acton (che sta adesso in Londra,—he meant Roma) as a type of those people. He called him no names like Barnabo, but he coupled him with those Signori di Torino, who were bringing in a semi-Catholicism. I forget what name he used. He looked upon mixed education as a part of that. Then he turned the subject, asked how many we were. I answered, nine, novices included ... "How old are you? you are Father St. John are you not? I know you well, but you are grown a vecchione, lost your freshness, how old are you? How long an Oratorian? Ah! you must increase your numbers." ... Then I reminded him of Santa Croce and of his coming into our refectory, &c. He evidently warmed towards us. Then I spoke of Father A. B. and of the Government having given a salary. "How much, 100l.?" "No, 50l." "Ah, that is half." Then he made some joke about the other half which I did not catch. Then we took our leave. As I knelt I said: "Holy Father, you must give your Benediction to Father Newman." "Oh yes," he said, "I give it with all my heart, and to all of you" ... Then we went.

'Something else I brought in. When I began to speak about your having been so pained by the reports sent from Rome, he answered you were not to mind, that it was enough for you to know that he, the Pope, knew you were tutto ubbediente. I am sure he avoided details purposely. He never mentioned the Rambler or Manning, or anyone except Acton, and he evidently to my mind brought him in as hoping you would not connect yourself with him.

'I brought in here that we had a school founded expressly to prepare young men for the Dublin University, but Englishmen would not go to Dublin. "Ah," he said, "there is always that racial antipatia, but we must think when the Bishops have met what can be done." This is all I recollect of the conversation.

'Talbot came up to us whilst waiting [before our audience] with all appearance of a great desire to be friendly. He said: "I could be of the greatest service to you if Father Newman {168} would let me. Would I come to him? or better, let him come to me and have some long talks with him?" I said I was at his service for any information he might require as consultor of Propaganda. I throughout spoke to him as in his official capacity and I then in that capacity told him how all the coldness he complained of your showing authorities at Rome, and himself in particular, had arisen from the unwarrantable things which had been said against you; that people would not understand that you had always consistently held that there was to be in dubiis libertas. Then he brought out, (this was after the audience when he took us to his room) the Rambler with the Article and read with some hesitation some passages. They seemed to him, I think, not so strong as he expected. He has evidently never thought of them himself. I said, Father Newman was writing history and showing, however strong the historical difficulties were, the Faith was always in the Church. "I am not however here," I said, "to defend Father Newman's faith, that he must do himself; but I know he thought he was only saying what Baronius had said." I said, "I am confident Baronius has said as much." "Well, Baronius," he admitted, (knowing nothing about it evidently) "has said some very strong things doubtless." Altogether he looked puzzled, and repeated his wish for a long talk. Then I said, rising to go: "Monsignor, as long as you say Father Newman is a heretic, there must be a line between us." Then he answered in a deprecatory manner: "Oh, no, I never said that; there is a great difference between stating an heretical proposition and being a heretic." "Well, but you said he was called upon to retract and would not." "No, not that, I only heard the other day what I said yesterday, that Father Newman had been written to." Here I ought to have come down upon and clenched him with: "Why did you say it then? Charity thinketh no evil," but I was softened by his manner and let him make an engagement to come to my room. When he comes I won't let him off, you may trust me, but I am such a bad hand at clenching anything. I gain my point and don't know how to use it. I hope you will not think me unduly courteous. I have said stronger things to him than I ever said to anyone, and he bears it all, quite amicably. He said: "I am sure a great deal of good will come out of this. I wish to be a good friend; no one was more so when we were at Rome together, but Father Newman has seemed of late to speak as if one religion was for the {169} English and another for Catholics on the Continent." "How can you say so?" said Henry; "the Father says he accepts everything in the Raccolta." Then I said: "Were you, Monsignor, when you became a Catholic, ready to say all that is said in Grignon de Montfort's book? And for Popery proper, who has spread it as much as I have with the Raccolta. They are reprinting the 5th thousand and as many have been sold in America." He seemed in all this like a man whose eyes were beginning to open. Mind I am not trusting him. I know he is under Manning's thumb. But, if appearances go for anything, he is clumsily repenting. Henry is sanguine we have done a great deal, not speaking of Talbot but generally, with the Pope and Barnabo. I don't know what I think. Everybody I have seen speaks of you most kindly.

'Nine o'clock.
'Your letter just come. Well, I suppose you will, with your monkey up, be angry with us for talking to Talbot at all. But what can we do? We must go on when we are in a groove. It has all followed inevitably from going to Barnabo. Pray for us hard that we may make no mistakes.
'Ever yours affectionately,

Newman, immediately on receipt of Ambrose St. John's information that the Rambler article had been the main cause of suspicion in Rome, forwarded to him the text of his letter to Cardinal Wiseman written in 1860, in which he had offered to make all necessary explanations. He forwarded at the same time the documents relating to the separation between the two Oratories.

He was not dissatisfied with the course of events as described by his friends, but remained, however, far from sharing Father St. John's benevolent impressions as to Cardinal Barnabo's supposed amiable dispositions in regard to himself.

He wrote as follows to Father Ambrose:

'May 7th, 1867.
'I think you have managed very well. I am quite prepared for the Roman people thinking my going to Oxford will encourage mixed education, and the Manning-Ward party thinking it will give me an open door for my theology.

'It seems to me that our going to Oxford is quite at an end. {170}

'I send a copy of the letter which I sent to Cardinal Wiseman, (at the Bishop's suggestion,) about the Rambler—and which the Cardinal never answered. At the end of six months Manning said to me in conversation: "By the bye, that matter of the Rambler is settled"—or he wrote me a line to that effect. I have nothing more to say about it.

'As to Father Faber, I cautiously abstained from claiming any power over the London House when I went to Rome with you. Barnabo introduced the subject of the "Deputato" and puzzled us. If I find any notes of the subject I will send them.'

'Wednesday night, May 8th, 1867.
'I am not a bit softened about Barnabo. He has not at all explained the "blanda et suavis revocatio" which was to be concealed from me till I attempted to go to Oxford—not at all. And to plead the Bishop's cause before him is an indignity both in you and to the Bishop. But I don't see how it can be helped,—I have allowed your defence of the Bishop and do allow it. There is nothing else that can be done, Neve and Palmer wishing it, but the judge is the culprit.

'I doubt not Barnabo and Capalti call you and me "pover' uomo" behind our backs, as they do the Bishop. The idea of a Diocesan Bishop having toiled ... as he has, to be so treated! As for me, I am not a Bishop, and I have not aimed at pleasing them except as a duty to God,—at least for many years.

'As I am writing I recapitulate the Rambler affair. I won't write a defence of the passage in the Rambler till I know more clearly what I am accused of, either in Catholic doctrine injured, or sentences and phrases used by me. But you can write to Barnabo the facts—viz. that the Bishop told me that Barnabo was hurt at the passage, and (I suppose getting it translated!) showed it the Pope and said to the Bishop that the Pope too was hurt, but that neither you nor I at the time could make out with what. That at the Bishop's wish I wrote to Cardinal Wiseman, then in Rome, the letter I sent you yesterday, to say that I would make any statement they wished and explain my passage according to it, if they would but tell me what they wanted—that both the Bishop and I expected an answer to that letter, that no answer ever came; that, at the end of six months or so, Manning said or wrote to me to say: "By the bye that matter of the Rambler is all at an end,"—which I thought, and think now, came from Cardinal Wiseman and was meant to convey to me that I need do no more in the matter. I think I have said all {171} this yesterday, but as I wrote quickly to save the post, lest I should have omitted anything, I repeat it here. Don't offer for me that I now will make explanations, unless they wish to revive an old matter.' [Note 4]

The letter to Cardinal Wiseman which Newman enclosed ran as follows:

'The Oratory, Birmingham: January 19th, 1860.
'My dear Lord Cardinal,—Our Bishop tells me that my name has been mentioned at Rome in connection with an article in the Rambler, which has by an English Bishop been formerly brought before Propaganda as containing unsound doctrine. And our Bishop says that your Eminence has spoken so kindly about me as to encourage me to write to you on the subject.

'I have not yet been asked from Propaganda whether I am the author of the article, or otherwise responsible for it; and, though I am ready to answer the question when it is put to me I do not consider it a duty to volunteer the information till your Eminence advises it.

'However, I am ready, with the question being asked of me, to explain the article as if it were mine.

'I will request then of your Eminence's kindness three things:—

'1. The passages of the article on which the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda desires an explanation.

'2. A copy of the translations in which his Eminence has read them.

'3. The dogmatic propositions which they have been represented as infringing or otherwise impairing.

'If your Eminence does this for me, I will engage, with the blessing of God, in the course of a month from the receipt of the information:

'1. To accept and profess ex animo in their fulness and integrity the dogmatic propositions implicated.

'2. To explain the animus and argument of the writer of the article in strict accordance with those propositions.

'3. To show that the English text and context of the article itself are absolutely consistent with them.

'Kissing your sacred purple, I am, my dear Lord Cardinal,
'Your faithful & affectionate servant in Christ,
of the Oratory.'

Dr. Ullathorne at Newman's request wrote an account of the interview with Cardinal Barnabo at which the Cardinal had communicated to him the original charges against the article by Bishop Brown, and of the events which followed. This document, which was also sent to St. John, ran as follows:

'Birmingham: May 9, 1867.
'Cardinal Barnabo asked me if I would do nothing to help them through their difficulty. I asked what he wished me to do? He said, that he wished me to bring the matter home to you. He produced the Bishop's [Dr. Brown's] letters, addressed in English to the Secretary, Monsignor Badini. I asked for the passages. He exhibited them marked in pencil; and pointing to them with his pen he said: "Ce n'est pas Sanscrit," whereby I understood him to mean that {172} he perfectly understood the passages he was talking about; he added—"Le Pape est beaucoup peiné." I then at his earnest request undertook to bring the matter before your attention.

'Cardinal Wiseman was then at the English College at Rome. I told him all that had passed, and spoke to him gravely about the annoyances to which from time to time you had been subjected ... Also [I went] into the question about your treatment in the question of the Bible translation, &c. At last the Cardinal burst into tears, and said "Tell Newman I will do anything I can for him."

'So soon as I returned to Birmingham I wrote to you and asked you if you could call on me, as I had a communication for you from Propaganda of some gravity. Father St. John came in your stead, and told me you were ill in bed. I communicated the case to him, and no sooner had you heard it than you got out of bed and came up to me in a cab. You proposed, as I had repeated to Father St. John what Cardinal Wiseman had said of his readiness to serve you, that you would write to him, and put your readiness to comply with the requirements of Propaganda into his hands. You asked if this course would satisfy me. I said, perfectly. I then wrote to Cardinal Barnabo, and mentioned all that had passed, describing how you had got out of your sick bed and come up to me as soon as you heard the case and commission with which I was charged.

'It is not correct that Cardinal Barnabo wrote to me. But it is correct that I wrote to him and mentioned every detail of your conduct above stated. And I concluded with the statement that the case had now passed into the hands of Cardinal Wiseman, who would represent you, I presumed, with Propaganda after he had received your letter.'

That the Wiseman and Ullathorne letters and the documents relating to the process concerning Father Faber and the London Oratory at once produced the best effect, both in reassuring Newman's friends as to the strength of his position and in propitiating the Roman authorities themselves, is clear from the following letters:


'Rome: May 11th, 1867.
'My dear Father,—Your telegram came last night at bed time. This morning your letter enclosing important documents. {173}

'How very strange that neither Ambrose nor I should have remembered your letter to the late Cardinal (Wiseman). Palmer's document, which Ambrose asked in the telegram, he has ready in Italian, and he is now putting your letter to Cardinal Wiseman, and also the "supplica" into Italian, and intends taking them to Cardinal Barnabo this evening at the Ave, the best time to see him. We must finish all our business, and all our sight seeing very soon if we are to be home for St. Philip's Day ... On the other hand Neve (and I think Sir John Acton) have said that we ought not to go without getting a decision—and Palmer thinks certainly it would be much better not to go without entirely disabusing the mind (or minds) of Propaganda, as to your orthodoxy, and obtaining a statement of authority, to be published, clearing you after they have passed the Essay assailed, either with or without an explanation from you.

'Father Ambrose is also preparing a "supplica" embodying your proposition about the school ...

'Ambrose says there is only just time to catch the post.

'P.S.—We both think your letter to the Cardinal (Wiseman) a complete success—in fact, a stunner.'


'Rome: May 12th, 1867.
'Last night [Ambrose] took the three documents to Cardinal Barnabo, who was very kind and friendly. Ambrose is beginning to be almost won by him. He knows that he has treated you badly in some things, but he thinks he has been abused and that he is white in comparison of some who ought to know better. Your letter to the late Cardinal Wiseman quite thunderstruck him. "Why," he said, "Cardinal Wiseman was in Propaganda, and we never heard of this." He said it quite cleared you (morally, I suppose), but for Cardinal Wiseman he seemed not to know what to say; all he could say was: "Well, he is dead now,—requiescat in pace." He said Ambrose must take it to the Pope. He must go and show it to Monsignor Talbot and get another audience. He seemed equally flabbergasted by your statement on the Faber matter, and his having called you "Deputato Apostolico," &c., but Ambrose must give you a more full account of the interview. Ambrose left with his Eminence the three papers (Palmer's statement, your letter to Cardinal Wiseman, the document with the three propositions {174} about our school). This morning he went to Cardinal de Luca, from whom I think he got nothing new,—and to Monsignor Talbot who confessed to having seen the letter to the late Cardinal Wiseman, and who was against taking it to the Pope. Of course, he said, he would show it to His Holiness if he wished, but he would not advise it. He said that the Pope had forgotten all about it. This must do till tomorrow. Ambrose is gone to dine with Monsignor Nardi, a bore which he could not escape.'

It transpired, however, soon afterwards that the accusations against the Rambler article had been put in definite theological form by no less eminent a person than Franzelin, the great Jesuit theologian, afterwards a Cardinal, in a lecture at the Roman College. Father Bittleston urged the importance of a reply.

'It seems to us,' he wrote, 'that the only thing to do and that very important, is for you to be preparing an explanation of those passages in the Rambler article, and I think it might be very useful to give an historical account of your connection with the Rambler. We both think that our coming here has been of the greatest use in bringing out this rankling sore. I don't think you would have any difficulty in explaining quite satisfactorily, and we really think there is no unwillingness on the part of authorities to be satisfied. Perhaps we can hear what Father Perrone thinks.'

Perrone, whom Father Ambrose consulted, held that Newman should take occasion, in writing of something else, to explain fully the passages to which exception had been taken. He added that he was prepared to say to objectors that he guaranteed the soundness of Newman's doctrine on the matter in question. Newman adopted his suggestion, and answered Franzelin's points one by one in his next edition of the 'Arians.'

Father Cardella, so Father St. John now discovered, had already replied to Franzelin, and strongly upheld the orthodoxy of the incriminated passages. Father Perrone spoke of them with more reserve, as admitting a true sense and a false. There was every disposition to be satisfied with any explanation which Newman might give, and in fact no more was heard of the matter, so far as I can learn, after this year. {175} Cardinal de Luca was especially warm in his language concerning Newman. He urged that on the Oxford question Newman must come to an understanding with Manning, as the Holy See could not oppose the Archbishop and the English episcopate. And now Monsignor Talbot came forward and expressed an earnest wish to resume friendly relations with Newman.


'Albergo della Minerva, Rome: May 16th, 1867.
' ... Here is a turn up. At half past seven o'clock last night down comes Monsignor Talbot. He seemed very nervous. Asked for a private interview,—would not have anybody with me. He was hard upon two hours in my room, it is impossible to remember all that passed. But the upshot was he was excessively sorry for the estrangement,—he desired your friendship very much,—could be of the greatest service to you in letting you know how things were felt at Rome. He had shown his friendship in the Achilli matter. He had kept the witnesses at his own expense, got the Pope to do things he had never done before, &c. He had had nothing to do with the Faber row. Nor with the Cardinal's treatment of you in the first Oxford circular matter, nor with Dr. Brown's accusation of your doctrine in the first instance. "What had he done?" When he found you were under a cloud he had come out of his way to find you—he had asked you to come and preach in the best intentions. You had written the coldest letter in reply. Could nothing be done to set matters right, &c. "Monsignor," I said, "you have been frank with me, and I will be frank with you. You said he had preached a sermon in favour of Garibaldi; nay, had even subscribed to Garibaldi (this last he emphatically denied) and there were various other hostile sayings of yours reported in England. Father Newman thought that it was taking a liberty with him to say: 'Come and whitewash yourself by preaching.' How did he know but he would (with this cloud which, as you say, was hanging over his head) do himself more harm than good. Besides (I said), you ought not to have asked him. See (I said) what I find when I come here now; everybody lays the information of Martin's letter to you." "It is a great shame," he said; "I never saw the man for a year,—I don't like him. I never saw him but twice in my life." "Well, but," I said, "he got his information from Propaganda, and knew what we in England did not {176} know." "Well, he (Talbot) knew nothing of this, but people laid everything to him." "Well, then," I said, "you told a person of high consideration in Rome you were sorry he was a Newmanite." This was taking a line giving effect to what he had said to me about Father Newman's doctrine. "Well," he said, "Dr. Brown had only just now again attacked your doctrine in the old Rambler, and do you know what Doctor Brown says of Newman's treatment of him?" "Well, no, but of late he (Brown) has acted like a friend." Talbot then said there were always parties; he had only meant that he had not agreed with you in your late way of going on; I forget exactly what he said. He spoke against Manning's sermons, said he had said many queer things, it was not only you who had stated one wrong proposition, &c. Then he asked in a very friendly way if you would come to Rome next year and preach, you would do so much good. Why, even Manning had done a great deal. I said you had an illness which gave me little hope of your being able to come. He said he had felt so much your being treated so badly by Dr. Cullen about the Bishopric ... Then he said, (now don't laugh, Father): "Did I think you would let yourself be made a Protonotary Apostolic,—you would have nothing to do but wear purple if you came to Rome?" "Well," I said, "Father Newman would accept whatever came from the Holy See with the greatest respect, but I really cannot say what he would do now." Then he asked me with hesitation to dine with him. As you will see, I weakly accepted at first, and Henry acquiesced. Then this morning we talked with Palmer, and after he went I wrote the enclosed letter [declining to dine with him]. Palmer wanted us to go under a protest. I thought that a half measure. This is all. Oh! I am so tired of writing and jabbering. I hope I have made no mistake.'

On receiving this letter Dr. Newman wrote as follows to Monsignor Talbot:

'St. Philip's Day, 1867 (May 26th).
'Dear Monsignor Talbot,—I have received with much satisfaction the report which Father St. John has given me of your conversations with him.

'I know you have a good heart; and I know you did me good service in the Achilli matter,—and you got me a relic of St. Athanasius from Venice, which I account a great treasure; and for these reasons I have been the more bewildered at your having of late years taken so strong a part against me, without (I may say) any real ground {177} whatever; or rather, I should have been bewildered were it not that, for now as many as thirty-four years, it has been my lot to be misrepresented and opposed without any intermission by one set of persons or another. Certainly, I have desiderated in you, as in many others, that charity which thinketh no evil, and have looked in vain for that considerateness and sympathy which is due to a man who has passed his life in attempting to subserve the cause and interests of religion, and who, for the very reason that he has written so much, must, from the frailty of our common nature, have said things which had better not have been said, or left out complements and explanations of what he has said, which had better have been added.

'I am now an old man, perhaps within a few years of my death, and you can now neither do me good nor harm. I have never been otherwise than well-disposed towards you. When you first entered the Holy Father's immediate service, I used to say Mass for you the first day of every month, that you might be prospered at your important post; and now I shall say Mass for you seven times, beginning with this week, when we are keeping the Feast of St. Philip, begging him at the same time to gain for you a more equitable judgment of us and a kinder feeling towards us on the part of our friends, than we have of late years experienced.
I am, dear Monsignor Talbot,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
of the Oratory.'

Monsignor Talbot's reply ran as follows:

'My dear Father Newman,—Many thanks for your kind letter, dated on the Feast of St. Philip. Many thanks also for your promise to say seven Masses for me, as in my delicate position near the sacred person of the Holy Father, I need as many prayers as I can get.

'I hope that now we may resume a correspondence which has been intermitted for so long a period of time.

'Nevertheless, I must say that you have been misinformed if you have been told that I have "of late years taken so strong a part against you without any real ground whatever."

'I do not know who may have been your informants, but there are certain mischief-makers in the world, whose chief occupation seems to be to make feuds amongst {178} friends, by reporting to one what the other may have said of him.

'I do not deny that certain expressions in your later writings have not pleased me, and that I could not approve of certain acts of yours which had the appearance of being opposed to the wishes of the Holy See.

'Besides, a certain school in England have done you much harm by making many believe that you sympathized with their detestable views. You have also been more injured by your friends than your enemies. When I was in England three years ago, I heard some of them quoting your name in opposition to the Authority of the Holy See. I remarked that there was a party forming of what are called "Liberal Catholics," who wished to place you at their head, in preference of professing a filial devotion to the Vicar of Christ, and a due veneration for the Chair of St. Peter.

'There is a saying: "God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies."

'Such is your case. For twenty years I was your warm admirer and defender, and should be delighted to be so still, but when I found that there was a dangerous party rising in England, who quoted your name, I was obliged to modify my views, and stand up for Ecclesiastical Authority in preference of worshipping great intellectual gifts.

'As for yourself personally, my love and affection has never varied. I may have lately criticised some of your public acts, as I have done those of many others of my friends, but this is no reason why any coldness should exist between priests who are all working for the same great end, the greater glory of God, and salvation of, souls.
'Believe me,
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Ambrose St. John, before leaving Rome, wrote a last word about the Rambler article, and described his farewell interviews with Cardinals Barnabo and Reisach.


'May, 1867.
'Dearest Father,—Your letter of the 7th is just come, and also your telegram No. 2.

'I have persisted about the Rambler,—because our friends (Palmer especially) say it must be the result of our coming to Rome,—that they have quite given up your disobedience {179} (the Pope saying "Newman has been 'tutto ubbediente'") so now they must give up your heterodoxy. Here you have Franzelin's article. What you eventually do about this cannot be determined while we are here. Your most happy letter to the Cardinal enables me to say positively that "so far from appealing ad misericordiam (as Talbot said to me), you courted examination." To my amazement yesterday Talbot told me coolly, he had seen the letter; yet he forgot or ignored that, and has declared to me: "Poor Newman, when he was asked for an explanation only begged off being called to Rome"; it was quite consistent with this that he should advise me not to show your letter to Cardinal Wiseman to the Pope. Perrone and Cardella say: "show it." Palmer says: "show it"; so I am going to Barnabo, (who as Henry told you also said "show it") to ask for a letter for an audience. De Luca, to whom I showed it, was cautious as he is the Head of the Index, said I must get the passages of the Rambler which were marked and their translation into Italian. He was very friendly but more cautious than on the first meeting. Barnabo was very warm, downright hearty, said he loved you; that you were a saint, saints were persecuted, like Palotti, people made use of your name, and pretended to have your protection—this was because you had such a charitable heart. Poor old man, he is really a very good-hearted man. He said to me: "I know both men,—Manning and Newman. I know Manning best, but I love Newman." He did not say, but the contrast led me to think he liked your unassuming way in keeping to yourself and doing your work. I know this is rather in contradiction with what he said on our first meeting, but you must recollect he has only heard one side before. I asked as it has chanced apropos of your today's letter, I suppose nothing said about Father Newman's too great influence at Oxford affects the Oratory at Oxford. No, he said, the leave is granted for the Oratory. Only Father Newman is not to change his residence; if he went for a month this or that time it would not be making his residence there of course. He spoke this cautiously, but I can answer for his words; and I am sure with you we must on no account give up what we have got. I presented the "supplica" with the three propositions and left it with him, and the memorial about the Bishop. I said I hoped he would not treat our school exceptionally. How could I think so? Of course not. I said we had felt as if it had been treated {180} as dangerous. He would not allow this ... The truth is those who have the gift of the gab (just as now) get their way for a time. I have gabbed now so much with everybody that I am getting confused. The general impression of friends is that I have gabbed to some effect for the present. I called on Cardinal Reisach today—very bland and courteous—apologized for not calling on you—talked of Oxford, said it was different from German Universities where men lived in Catholic families, e.g. Bonn. He wanted a high school of studies as they have at Stonyhurst. He is no good to us, and I left him gladly; but we must be on good terms with him—he spoke highly of you. I dined with Nardi yesterday and talked a great deal very freely. He blames the Civiltà for puffing Manning. I hope we shall get off by Monday, next,—this day week ...
'A. ST. JOHN.'

It now became clear that all was gained that could be hoped for from the visit to Rome. The disposition to speak well of Newman was universal. It was desirable that a full statement in writing should be handed in to Propaganda on the Oxford question. It would be well also if Newman took some opportunity of explaining the Rambler article. It was quite certain that the explanation would be received as satisfactory. A full statement on the Oxford episode was drawn up by Mr. Palmer and handed in on May 16 [Note 5]. The Rambler matter had of course to wait until Newman found or made his own opportunity for an explanation; and St. John and his companion were therefore free to depart. They reached the Oratory in time for St. Philip's feast on May 26.

Newman, after talking things over with Ambrose St. John, soon came to the conclusion that he must be satisfied with completely clearing his reputation for orthodoxy in Rome. His own reply to Franzelin's strictures on the Rambler article must be careful and thorough. As to the Oxford scheme, his original impression, formed after the appearance of Mr. Martin's letter, returned—that it must be dropped; but this step was not finally resolved upon until August, much correspondence taking place with Hope-Scott in the interval. This view was clearly the Bishop's. Bishop Ullathorne discussed the matter fully with Propaganda in the course of a visit to {181} Rome in June. Newman saw him for the first time after his return on August 1, and learned that in Rome they considered the Oxford matter at an end. The Bishop, however, did not actually say what he evidently meant, that the entire Oxford Oratory plan had better be abandoned. Dr. Newman's conversation with Bishop Ullathorne is recorded in the following memorandum:

'August 1st, 1867.
'I have just come from calling on the Bishop. It is the first conversation I have had with him since his return from Rome.

'I began by talking about his examination before the Parliamentary Commission on the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill,—nothing else.

'But after a time he got loose from it, and said that both at Rome and since his return Dr. Manning had wished to make it up with me. I said that I was just now in correspondence with Oakeley on the subject, and told the Bishop what I had said:

'He then talked of Cardinal Luca, [who had] said that the Church (or the Archbishop, I forget which) must embrace all opinions in the one faith, stretching out his arms.

'And Cardinal Barnabo had recommended the Bishops through him to put out some declaration against controversy, especially by laymen and in periodicals.

'He had freely spoken to Cardinal Reisach on his not having taken any notice of me in England last year.

'He said Monsignor Capalti, Secretary of Propaganda, was very strong about my going to Rome—implored me—the Bishop in speaking to me evidently acquiesced, perhaps he had suggested it to Capalti. He said I ought to stay a whole season there—i.e. what he said came to this.

'Then he said abruptly, very grave, and looking straight at me: "I find that at Rome they consider the Oxford matter quite at an end." I answered: "I suppose they mean they have said their last word." He answered, apparently not seeing the drift of my question: "Yes." What I meant was that we had got leave to extend our Birmingham Oratory into Oxford, provided I did not change my residence.

'As to educating for Oxford, he said that the Bishops' Declaration had not yet returned from Rome. He could not quite tell what it would be. As sent to Rome, it said, apropos of a priest having in the confessional said to a penitent that there was no sin in a father sending his son to Oxford, that {182} such a father acted against the will of the Bishops and of the Holy See.
'J. H. N.'

For a few days the future remained still uncertain, as is evident from some words in a letter of August 13 from Newman to Hope-Scott. In the course of this letter we find the following reference to Manning:

'Manning has written to me wishing that we should meet and give him an opportunity of explanation. Of course I seem to put myself in the wrong by declining—but I seriously think it would do more harm than good. I do not trust him, and his new words would be the cause of fresh distrust. This, as far as I could do delicately, I have suggested to him. I have said that the whole world thought him difficult to understand, that I should be glad to think it was my own fault that I had not been prepared by his general bearing and talk for his acts; that friendly acts would be the best preparation for a friendly meeting—and that I should hail that day, when the past had been so far reversed, that explanations would be natural and effectual. At present I should not in my heart accept his explanations.' [Note 6]

In point of fact Manning had been urging Propaganda to renew in a yet stronger form than hitherto the dissuasion to English Catholic parents from sending their sons to Oxford. And a fresh rescript arrived in this very month. Newman had in the meantime written to Cardinal Barnabo protesting against his action, which has been already alluded to in reference to Edgbaston School. The text of this correspondence I have been unable to find. But from a note by Newman it is clear that it became angry, and that Newman declared that he left his cause with God, using the words 'viderit Deus.' In view of this state of things the Oratory at Oxford was finally abandoned. It would mean a false position, and one which was not likely to be made tenable by any special sympathy in high quarters.

Newman communicated his views to Hope-Scott:

'August 16th, 1867.
'My dear Hope-Scott,—The Rescript has just come from Propaganda to the Bishops, from which they will draw up {183} their Pastoral Letters to Priests and People on the subject of University Education.

'I suppose this Rescript will not be brought forward; and the immediate authority will be the Pastoral.

'In the printed Documents (re Bishop's Pamphlet) which I sent you the other day, I have said two things:

'1. That I go to Oxford solely because there are Catholic Undergraduates there ...

'2. That my going there must tend to bring Catholics there.

'And now those two avowals are confronted by the declaration from Propaganda: "A youth can scarcely, or not scarcely even, go to Oxford without throwing himself into a proximate occasion of mortal sin."

'Does it not follow as an inevitable sequence in logic, that if I go there I contemplate youths (or their parents) throwing themselves into such proximate occasions and moreover distinctly disobeying their Bishops who warn them against it, and secondly that I co-operate in their act by encouraging it?

'All along I have professed and felt indifference, reluctance, to go to Oxford. If I do go still after the Bishop's Pastoral, shall I not fairly be considered to have made a profession which I did not feel or mean to carry out?

'It seems to me that I am simply in a false position if I consent to go on with the Oxford undertaking after the Rescript.

'The question is what I must do, and when, to bring the matter to an end.

'I do not see any difficulty in waiting till the Bishop speaks to me, for the reasons which I shall give for my decision, he has already heard, and they are quite independent of those which arise out of the Rescript. The simple reason of my not going on with the business is, that to my surprise I found I was not allowed free liberty to go to Oxford. This was the reason assigned in the letter which I wrote to him on receipt of the news, and, though I was prevented by our Fathers from sending that letter, I showed it him a week or two after.

'I would rather give this reason than make it seem that I withdrew in consequence of the Rescript. In the one case I shall be withdrawing because I have been unfairly treated; in the other, because I have been detected in an animus and foiled by a distinct message from Rome. {184}

'The two grounds are so distinct that if I bring out my own ground strongly in my letter, it will not matter whether or not in matter of fact it is given to the public after the expected Pastoral Letter. Is not this so? …
'Ever yours affly,

Acting on this opinion, in which Hope-Scott concurred, Newman wrote as follows to the Bishop:

'The Oratory, Birmingham: August 18th, 1867.
'My dear Lord,—I do not think you will feel any surprise if I at length act on the resolve which I formed on the very day that I heard of the restriction placed on my presence in Oxford, which I have cherished ever since, and only not carried out because of the dissuasion of friends here and elsewhere.

'That dissuasion has now ceased; and, accordingly, I now ask your permission to withdraw from my engagement to undertake the Mission of Oxford, on the ground that I am not allowed by Propaganda the freedom to discharge its duties with effect.

'Thanking you for all your kindness, and with much regret for the trouble I have caused you,
'I am, &c., &c.
J. H. N.'

Bishop Ullathorne's reply was as follows:

'Birmingham: Aug. 19th, 1867.
'My dear Dr. Newman,—Your letter reached me this morning from Stone. I am not at all surprised that you have renounced the project of the Oxford Mission. Were I in the same position, I should do the same. And yet I receive the announcement of your decision with a sense of pain both acute and deep.

'I have no hesitation in saying it, as my complete conviction, that you have been shamefully misrepresented at Rome, and that by countrymen of our own.

'When I went thither I had some hope of being able to put this affair more straight. But when I got there I plainly saw that the time had not come for an impartial hearing. Preoccupations in the quarters where alone representation is effectual were still too strong, and minds were too much occupied with the vast multitude of affairs brought to Rome by so many Bishops there assembled. {185}

'On the other hand, the closing sentence of your letter to Cardinal Barnabo, which, the moment I read it, I felt would be interpreted in a much stronger sense than you would have intended, made so unpleasant an impression that I believe that sentence stood as a considerable obstacle in the way of those explanations which were proffered by your own representatives [Note 7]. Indeed, I have good evidence that it was so, from those who took your part with cordiality. You will quite understand that I am not making a reflection, but pointing out a fact.

'I still trust that the time will come when the facts of the case will be better understood at Rome, and when justice will be done to you.
'Wishing you every blessing,
I remain, my dear Dr. Newman,
Your faithful & affectionate servant in Christ,

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1. See Newman's words cited in Vol. I., p. 572.
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2. The postscriptum is a footnote in the book, but has been included in the text because of its length—NR.
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3. The Sermon on the 'Pope and the Revolution,' preached in response to a Pastoral by Bishop Ullathorne on the trials of Pius IX.
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4. The letter to Cardinal Wiseman is a footnote in the book, but has been included in the text because of its length—NR.
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5. The text of Mr. Palmer's statement is given at p. 549.
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6. These words refer to the correspondence in the Life of Cardinal Manning, pp. 327-42.
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7. This is probably the letter referred to at page 182. Newman's own view of the whole episode is naturally that which I have set forth in the text. But here, as in the Irish University Question, the attitude of the ecclesiastical authorities will be very intelligible to the careful reader. The 'secret instruction' which made so painful an impression on Newman, coming to his knowledge as it did coupled with Mr. Martin's unfriendly interpretation of its real import, was, as has been explained at p. 139, not (as Newman thought it) in intention unfriendly to him. Cardinal Barnabo (see p. 160) considered that it ought to have been communicated to Newman when the danger was apparent that he might collect money from those who, when subscribing, considered that he was free to reside at Oxford. The leave for an Oxford Oratory had, as we have seen, been granted by Propaganda on the strength of Dr. Ullathorne's explanation that Newman did not mean actually to reside there (p. 179). Propaganda held that such residence would militate against Pius IX.'s policy of opposition to 'mixed' education and therefore could not sanction it. But Dr. Ullathorne had been afraid of communicating to Newman this condition lest he should misunderstand its true significance, and had not informed him that he (the Bishop) had received instructions to make sure that the condition was observed. The true facts eventually came to Newman's knowledge together with an extremely painful and untrue suggestion as to the reason for the proviso in question. And Newman's correspondence with Cardinal Barnabo had afterwards assumed a tone so unfavourable to the successful negotiation of a difficult matter, that the whole scheme was necessarily dropped. This appears to be the outcome of the whole story.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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