Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blessed John Henry Newman, Part Two: Conscience

Tonight at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita, Kansas, I'll be presenting Part Two of this mini-series on Blessed John Henry Newman. The session tonight is dedicated to his teaching on conscience and I will also recount some details and events from the second half his life--the Catholic half.

The first session last week went well from my view: I didn't make a major mistakes, fall over, or spill my glass of water. I maintained eye contact, presented good content, with some humor, and engaged the participants in discussion with good Q & A. My husband rounded out the small group and we were most happy to see a priest friend whom we knew in college at WSU through our activities at the St. Paul's Parish-Newman Center!

Tonight's topic is challenging: many Catholics do not understand the real meaning of conscience. Newman is persuasive in his explanation of conscience's rights and duties, however, and his life demonstrates how he both formed and obeyed his conscience, which included being obedient to his superiors in the Catholic Church, even when he had hoped to accomplish things for the laity and their formation in England after centuries of neglect and obscurity. Also, many today read his defense of the rights of conscience as an attack against the teaching authority of the Church and Papal infallibility in matters of faith and morals--selective reading of his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk!

At the end of tonight's class, I'll have copies of Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation available to sign and sell.

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