Cardinal Newman

On this date in 1845, John Henry Cardinal Newman, was received into the Catholic Church.

Frye in The Secular Scripture:

Similarly, Christianity possessed a body of true myth or revelation, most of it in the Bible.  This was distinguished from unauthorized myth by having a large body of conceptual writing attached to it, the doctrinal system of Christian theology.  As with Plato, the Christian has to pass through the doctrinal system before he can understand the myths of the Bible.  In the nineteenth century Cardinal Newman remarked that the function of scripture was not to teach doctrine but to prove it: this axiom shows how completely the structure of the Bible had been translated into a conceptual system which both replaced and enclosed it.  Even the fact that the original data were for the most part stories, as far as their structure is concerned, often came to be resented or even denied.  Whatever resisted the translating operation had to be bracketed as a mystery of faith, into which it was as well not to look to closely.  (CW 18, 17)

Andrew Sullivan, who is Catholic and gay, has been an unwavering critic of the Ratzinger retinue in the Vatican, both for its decades-long criminal complicity in child rape and for its ruthless purge of gay clergy.  Sullivan recently put up a very moving post about Catholicism and homosexuality, in which he cites Cardinal Newman and Gerard Manley Hopkins as instances of the Church’s hypocrisy on homosexuality, and as proof that a priest can be gay and a superlative Catholic.  You can read the post, “Homosexuals as ‘Victim Souls'”, here.

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