Cuthbert Butler

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Cuthbert Butler OSB (born Edward Joseph Aloysius Butler, 6 May 1858 – 1 April 1934)[1] was a Benedictine monk of Downside Abbey in England, who gained notice as an ecclesiastical historian. In 1906 he was elected the abbot of the community.[2] He resigned in 1922.[3]

Butler is known for The Vatican Council: The Story from Inside in Bishop Ullathorne's Letters.[citation needed] Described by Michael J. G. Pahls as "[t]he standard [English-language] account of the First Vatican Council",[4] the book is based on the correspondence of Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne of Birmingham.[5] Gertrude Himmelfarb describes The Vatican Council as designed to support papal infallibility.[6]

He also wrote on mysticism.

Early life[edit]

Edward Joseph Aloysius Butler was born on 6 May 1858 in Dublin, Ireland, to parents Edward and Mary Butler.[7] His father was a professor of mathematics at the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland whose father was a convert to Roman Catholicism.[8] His mother came from a Protestant family and was a sister of the eminent consulting physician Sir Francis Cruise.[7]

Butler was educated at Downside School, an English Benedictine school, from 1869 to 1875.[9] During his time at the school, he was greatly influenced by the Benedictine priest William Petre who, along with the prior, Bernard Murphy, advised him as he discerned his vocation.[10] As his parents did not want him to enter the Benedictine noviciate immediately after finishing at Downside, he spent a brief period at the short-lived Catholic University College in Kensington, London, as well as travelling throughout Europe.[10]

Monastic life[edit]

Butler entered the noviciate at Belmont Abbey in Herefordshire in 1876.[11] Reflecting on his entry into the abbey in a manuscript written between 1891 and 1892, he wrote:

I went to Belmont towards the end of August, 1876, being just past 18. I had no notion whatever, not even the most rudimentary, of the nature of the religious state or the monastic life. I acted on a perfectly blind impulse; I felt a strong call to be a monk, but I had no clear idea of what was meant by being a monk ... I had no great attraction for church services or prayer; I was not drawn by affection for any of the monks; I was not flying from the dangers of the world – I knew nothing of them ... I entered the noviciate, my mind, as has been said, a perfect blank as to the mode of life I was embarking on. I remember shortly after my entrance saying to an old school friend among the juniors that I should not have been surprised at anything I found at Belmont – not even at perpetual abstinence or silence, or midnight office.[12]

Published works[edit]

  • The Lausiac History of Palladius. Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature. 6. 1898. LCCN 25012303.
  • The Text of St. Benedict's Rule. 1899.
  • Benedictine Monachism: Studies in Benedictine Life and Rule. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1919. LCCN 20002500.
  • Western Mysticism: The Teaching of SS Augustine Gregory and Bernard on Contemplation and the Contemplative Life. London: Constable & Co. 1922. LCCN 23007246. OCLC 3181182.
  • Benedictine Monachism: Studies in Benedictine Life and Rule (2nd ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1924.
  • The Life & Times of Bishop Ullathorne, 1806–1889. London: Burns, Oates, and Washbourne. 1926. LCCN 26014362. OCLC 4231977.
  • Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit: With Other Essays, Apologetical and Critical. London: Sheed and Ward. 1930. OCLC 5684267.
  • The Vatican Council: The Story from Inside in Bishop Ullathorne's Letters. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1930. LCCN 30022961. OCLC 3393424.
  • Ways of Christian Life: Old Spirituality for Modern Men. London: Sheed and Ward. 1932. LCCN 32022686. OCLC 3553103.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Knowles 1963, p. 265; Knowles 2003.
  2. ^ Hudleston 1909, p. 149.
  3. ^ Bellenger 2000, p. 231.
  4. ^ Pahls 2009, p. 195.
  5. ^ Butler 1930.
  6. ^ Himmelfarb 1952, p. 100.
  7. ^ a b Knowles 1963, p. 265.
  8. ^ Hulsman 2003; Knowles 1963, p. 265.
  9. ^ Bellenger 2000, p. 230; Knowles 1963, p. 265.
  10. ^ a b Knowles 1963, p. 266.
  11. ^ Knowles 1963, p. 266; Knowles 2003.
  12. ^ Knowles 1963, pp. 266–267.

Works cited[edit]

Bellenger, Aidan (2000). "Butler, Cuthbert". In Johnston, William M. Encyclopedia of Monasticism. 1. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 230–231. ISBN 978-1-57958-090-2.
Butler, Cuthbert (1930). The Vatican Council: The Story from Inside in Bishop Ullathorne's Letters. London: Longmans, Green and Co. LCCN 30022961. OCLC 3393424.
Himmelfarb, Gertrude (1952). Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hudleston, G. Roger (1909). "Downside Abbey". In Herbermann, Charles G. Catholic Encyclopedia. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company. pp. 149–150.
Hulsman, John (2003). "About the Author". The Rule of Our Warfare: John Henry Newman and the True Christian Life. By Newman, John Henry. Hulsman, John, ed. New York: Scepter Publishers. p. 195. ISBN 978-1-889334-83-7.
Knowles, David (1963). "Abbot Butler: A Memoir". The Historian and Character: And Other Essays. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press (published 2008). pp. 264–341. ISBN 978-0-521-08841-1. Retrieved 18 November 2017. Reprint of Knowles, David (1934). "Abbot Butler: A Memoir". The Downside Review. 52 (3): 347–440. doi:10.1177/001258063405200304. ISSN 0012-5806.
 ———  (2003). "Butler, Edward Cuthbert". New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2 (2nd ed.). Detroit, Michigan: Gale. p. 720. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via Encyclopedia.com.
Pahls, Michael J. G. (2009). "Development in the Service of Rectification: John Henry Newman's Understanding of the Schola Theologorum". In Parker, Kenneth L.; Pahls, Michael J. G. Authority, Dogma, and History: The Role of the Oxford Movement Converts in the Papal Infallibility Debates. Bethesda, Maryland: Academica Press. pp. 195–211. ISBN 978-1-933146-44-7.

Further reading[edit]

Knowles, David (1934). "Abbot Butler: A Bibliography". The Downside Review. 52 (3): 466–472. doi:10.1177/001258063405200306. ISSN 0012-5806.
 ———  (1963). "The Works and Thought of Abbot Butler". The Historian and Character: And Other Essays. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press (published 2008). pp. 341–362. ISBN 978-0-521-08841-1. Retrieved 18 November 2017. Reprint of Knowles, David (1934). "The Works and Thought of Abbot Butler". The Downside Review. 52 (3): 441–465. doi:10.1177/001258063405200305. ISSN 0012-5806.

External links[edit]