Talk:John Henry Newman

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Most of the vandalism on this page has been done by anonymous users. Should the page be closed to such? Xxanthippe (talk) 01:26, 6 December 2007 (UTC).

I agree with this. Random acts of vandalism seem to be happening by individuals that are not properly signed in. There are removing sections that they do not agree with even though those sections might have correct citation and references. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:38, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Still this is continuing - particularly with the text dealing with sexuality. I'd gladly accept this as a forum for debate but am concerned at those who remove large sections of text without justifying it (perhaps for reasons unbeknown to the rest of us). Contaldo80 (talk) 18:46, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Nothing proves that John Henry Newman was gay. He seemed to have been asexual most of his life. Even his male friendships show that. He certainly comdemned homossexual relationships and acts. This doesn't prove what was his sexual orientation. but since it can't be proved I don´t think he should be included in any LGBT category. (talk) 23:16, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Please don't remove the category. Having this doesn't mean we have concluded he was 'gay', but rather that the article is likely to be of interest to those looking at LGBT issues on wikipedia. Incidentally celibate is not the same as asexual. Nor am I sure there is any active evidence that he did condemn such relationships (certainly not from the pulpit) - but to give you the benefit of the doubt I guess you mean that as a cardinal he would have signed up in principle to Catholic doctrine of the time. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:01, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Keep him in the cat. Most independent (ie. non-Church) sources are happy to associate him with these issues. Malick78 (talk) 17:25, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Take him out. He was not one, and this makes it look like he was. Putting him in the category because 'the article is likely to be of interest' is too vague. Newmans stated beliefs were against homosexuality and his practice conformed to that belief. Is everyone who both teaches that this is wrong and does not marry going to be put in the category as well? (talk) 16:35, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Why is Ian Ker so anxious to persuade readers without any credible evidence that Newman was definitely heterosexual, it has to be wondered.OrodesIII (talk) 23:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)


Quote: "In July 2008 The Vatican ordered that Newman’s body be exhumed and re-interred in a marble sarcophagus, where it could be more easily venerated [17]. This has angered some gay-rights campaigners, who see it as an attempt to separate Newman from St John, with whom he is buried."

In this enlightened day and age not even the Vatican can 'order' human remains to be moved as it requires due legal process from the local council and the Ministry of Justice! More of the actual story concerning the fencing of the graveyard and the dispute over planning permission for it has been added to a previous paragraph; whether the new fence can remain around this Catholic graveyard is another matter altogether as it is situated in the 'green belt' and not even a local state school (in Rubery) has been allowed to install a security fence because of this. It looks like this is not so much a 'gay-rights' issue as a clash over whether the Roman Catholic Church will willingly accept the legal right of a local council to say 'No' [retrospectively] to a new fence having been installed - but without planning permission - in a designated 'green belt' area?

Quote: "The Vatican has decided to move his remains from The Lickey Hills, near Rednal, Worcestershire to the Oratory in Birmingham city centre anticipation of his being made a saint in due course; the move requires permission from both Birmingham City Countil and the Ministry of Justice.

The recent decision to install a security fence around the small graveyard lead to a planning permission dispute with the local Birmingham City Council as it is in a designated green belt area; the immediate area is one of outstanding natural beauty, being a large country park."

[[1]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


That's helpful information - many thanks for helping clear the debate. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:11, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Although I am NOT of the Roman Catholic persuasion, I have lived in the immediate area almost all of my life and with some time to spare this afternoon, went looking for the Oratory country house and the graveyard - while I was most impressed by a 'new' walk into the Lickey Hills (I had never realised existed!), I was also amazed by the sheer length of new fencing which now surrounds what must have previously been wide-open land. I cannot blame the RC Church for the planned move for the other reasons cited - but somehow doubt that legally the new fencing can stay in place - without formal planning permission - in what is "green belt" land. Kind regards. "IHS" ps I will try to keep this page updated as the planned move of his remains into 'Brum' progresses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

update 0608-2008


Oratory planning issue resolved

Nitramrekcap (talk) 13:39, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Exhumation etc agreed

Nitramrekcap (talk) 16:46, 11 August 2008 (UTC)


Should this really be part of his name? I don't know what the exact rule on WP is, but we don't put "the most holy..." before someone's name just because the church does. Why should we use "Venerable" in the first sentence? Malick78 (talk) 14:26, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Good point. I think we should use the article on Bede as a guide. The article is entitled 'Bede' but the first line of text states that he's also known as 'Venerable Bede'. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I think we don't need the parts in bracket where it says "also Venerable..." Can we take it out? Bolinda (talk) 05:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be a problem with the gallery The files do exist on commons they do not appear —Preceding unsigned comment added by BernhardFischbein (talkcontribs) 10:31, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Fixed it! BernhardFischbein (talk) 10:34, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


Some gay activists, such as Peter Thatchell, have argued that John Henry Newman was gay because of his friendly relationship with Ambrose St. John. However, given Newman's resolute advocacy of Catholic clerical celibacy, it would certainly be more prudent to characterize this as a latter-day form of adelphopoiesis, just a spiritual relationship between two very Christian men. One could even argue that Newman was homophobic, since he held the pro-chastity epistles of St. Paul and other scriptures to be inerrant, and since he was quite likely a sacerdotal virgin, which in itself indicates a hostility to all forms of sex and related sins. ADM (talk) 02:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Note: 'Chastity' is not hostility toward sex, but subjecting it to certain rules. It is basic to the Christian belief system; sex is not a sin unless it goes against the rules. Most believers say that is not being anti-sex, but putting a proper value on it. Newman did teach that homosexuality was wrong. You can call that 'homophobic' if you like, but the rest of this is confused. (talk) 16:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I really don't see a contradiction here I'm afraid. You can be homosexual without being sexually active. I think you're confusing the two issues. Nor is it beyond the realms of reason to assume a homosexual can be homophobic - particularly if he is convinced that the teaching of his/her faith is firmly against the practice of homosexual acts (or at least sexual acts outside of marriage).
What is beyond debate is that Newman clearly derived a close emotional and spiritual attachment from his relationship with St. John - on the nature of this specific relationship the question ultimately is whether he viewed this as an intense friendship (perhaps adelphopoiesis) or a friendship underpinned by a physical or emotional attraction?
But even if we establish that it was the former rather than the latter, that does still not discount the likelihood that Newman was ultimately homosexual. We must forget that there is nothing in Catholic doctrine that proscribes an individual from simply have a homosexual orientation. Nor do you have to be a "gay activist" to draw that conclusionContaldo80 (talk) 13:43, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I disagree, since perhaps 99.9 % of homosexuals have been sexually active at one time or another, unlike adelphopoiesis, which oftens amounts to a form of clerical celibacy/virginity. If you could find evidence that at least 10 % of self-described homosexuals were not sexually active at all, the argument would maybe hold, but it doesn't since the sexual part is intrinsic to the gay culture and the gay identity (cf word homo"sex"uality). The Catholic Church has also clearly rejected the idea that serious homosexuals can be chaste, it has even published a document about it called Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders. ADM (talk) 18:40, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I find hard to believe that Newman was really gay, from a NPOV, and not from any sort of homophobic reasons. I´ve read some of his writtings and about his life, like his "Apologia Pro Vita Sua", and I find surprising that he never adresses any sort of sexual issues about his youth. I suppose that if he had gay tendencies during his youth, this would have marked him, since his Anglican and Catholic beliefs wouldn´t have allowed it. I really do think that he might have been a sublimated heterossexual, like St. Paul who also didn´t have great opinion on women. We also can´t forget that all the innuendo about his homosexual tendencies were made by deeply anti-Catholic people, like Charles Kingsley, who openly disagreed with the Catholic doctrine of celibacy. (talk) 23:53, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

[S]ince perhaps 99.9 % of homosexuals have been sexually active at one time or another? Yikes, that's a rather unhelpful stance. And many heterosexuals are also not sexually active so it's smarter just to back off that pointy argument that conflates being gay only with sexual acts. The Vatican has a rather laughable history concerning enlightened thoughts as to human sexual bahaviours and sexualities so let's not take their admonishments shaming LGBT people as a proper guide to anything except how they officially have characterized the subject. The core issues remain the same that we go by reliable sources and try to present the issues NPOV. We also have to put on the filters of what someone who today would be called gay would be called back then and how they themselves would self-identify. NPOV means we present the information and let the reader decide. -- Banjeboi 21:02, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Benjiboy, eminently sensible. As to the comment above that 99.9% of homosexuals have been sexually active, I had a good laugh. I would really like to see the source behind that - it seems to me extremely naive. If you are sexually orientated towards the same sex then it does not follow that you need to be sexually active with a member of the same-sex! Otherwise current Catholic teaching would quickly unravel... "The Catholic Church has also clearly rejected the idea that serious homosexuals can be chaste". What's a "serious homosexual" by the way - is it a professional qualification? Do you need a certificate to count? I don't think anyone is arguing the point that Newman would have understood himself to be 'gay' in the modern sense of the world; or that he was sexually active. Nevertheless it is legitimate to set out the case (backed by sources and references of course) that explore whether he remained a (albeit repressed) homosexual. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

John Henry Newman sexual orientation remains unknown. Anyway, he sublimated it, rather then repressed it, from a Catholic viewpoint, based on the belief that celibacy is a superior state to marriage. Buddhist monks also sublimate their sexuality, in a similar and often more efficient way to Catholic priests. I repeat that there isn´t any sort of evidence that if he ever had any sort of same sex tendencies during his youth or life. He seems to have sublimated easily is sexuality, from what we can interpret from his own writtings, like his "Apologia Pro Vita Sua". (talk) 22:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

"Sublimate" = to divert the energy of (a sexual or other biological impulse) from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use. "Repress" = to keep under control, check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
I don't really see such a big distinction between the two I'm afraid - seems to me a case of semantics. I agree there is no evidence to suggest Newman was sexually active; it is, however, legitimate to set out the case that Newman was likely to have been homosexual in orientation (even though such feelings may have been repressed or 'sublimated'). Although I disagree with your assertion that it is relatively "easy" to sublimate one's sexuality. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I´m a former Catholic and like I said before, I´ve read some of the Cardinal Newman writtings. I recommend you, since I don´t think you ever read it is "Apologia Pro Vita Sua". What I said was that "He seems to have sublimated easily is sexuality, from what we can interpret from his own writtings, like his "Apologia Pro Vita Sua"." I didn´t said it was easy for everyone, anyway, it depends of the people, their religion, their personality. Obviously also their sexual orientation. A former user did a huge confusion between "homosexuality" and "homosexual tendencies". This is far from being the same thing and it´s not the place to debate that. My point is that, from all that is known, his own writtings, his friends testimonies, even his enemies, there is nothing that points if he had homosexual inclinations during his youth or even if he was a sublimated homosexual. If he was really a sublimated homosexual, I find amazing that in any of his writtings he seems to indicate that. We can go to the definition of "asexual" more to define´s Newman sexuality. (talk) 16:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

It may follow to add something as seen from his writings Newman ______ and site some examples either in the text or footnotes. We should also look to the best sourcing from those who are familiar with his work and life as well. Again through a reality filter, I wouldn't expect religious scholars to dwell much on the physical yearnings but again, they certianly might. -- Banjeboi 01:17, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I log in to Wikipedia rarely and haven't been following this debate at all closely. But I've read the majority of Newman's published writings, plus a certain amount of his letters and diaries, one full-length biography of him and several articles about him from various sources. A few things seem clear:

1. There isn't strong, unambiguous evidence about his sexual inclinations from his writings or well-attested contemporary biographical data.

2. Whatever evidence there is in said writings and biographical data needs interpretation of some kind, so we can't simply cite something from his writings as evidence of his sexuality here -- that would be Original Research.

3. So if we say anything about the subject at all, it should be in the form of attributing specific opinions about it to specific biographers or historians or whoever has said such things; and for balance we should cite more than one such opinion from more than one source, if possible.

I.e., IMO future debate here should be about what (more or less) reliable sources are worth citing on this point and how to do so, not about our own opinions about Newman's sexual inclinations, which are irrelevant to the process of editing this article. --Jim Henry (talk) 01:51, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

FWIW, the entire thread may be a red-herring but it's not a bad idea to have a thoughtful discussion. Looking at the current text and using your familiarity with the subject ... is there anything that should be changed? Is it basically accurate and NPOV? -- Banjeboi 03:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The text of the section "Sexuality" is, as of today, pretty okay, except that it doesn't cite any sources arguing against Kingsley and Faber's assertions. I'm not sure offhand where to find such sources -- as far as I know most Newman biographers and scholars seem to have ignored these innuendos as not worth paying attention to, rather than trying to disprove them, but then I've read only a tiny fraction of the vast libraries of writing about Newman, vs. a pretty large proportion of Newman's own writing. --Jim Henry (talk) 15:29, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Indeed this thread is a red herring - I've been wasting my time rather. Having read the text again it doesn't say that Newman was homosexual just that his sexuality is an issue of conjecture. I can't see anything it which is objectionable and the sources look balanced! If anything it is all very mild.... Nor sure why would expect to find clues to his sexuality in his writings either - he wasn't likely to have put them into print was he? And as far as I'm concerned there is no discernible difference between "homosexuality" and "homosexual tendencies". Contaldo80 (talk) 17:15, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

What people mean by the terms "gay" and "homosexual(ity)" varies a great deal from person to person; failing to have a generally agreed-upon definition, or to settle on an ad-hoc definition for any given discussion, leads to a lot of confusion (as in the thread above, where some posters were apparently assuming that if you call someone homosexual you are implying that they're sexually active). Some people have tried to popularize the term "same-sex attraction" as a more specific, less historically loaded term for a subset of what people mean by "homosexuality"; that is, indicating that someone is more or less attracted to people of the same sex, without implying that they're unchaste or that they have any subcultural affiliation with other people with similar sexual inclinations or any specific political or religious opinions about the licitness of same-sex unions or whatever... I don't have a dog in this terminology fight, but I wouldn't want to use any term without defining it in the context where I use it, because I wouldn't expect other people to understand by it what I mean by it. --Jim Henry (talk) 15:29, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
You're exactly right. I think there was confusion over terminology, and you've captured the issue rather succinctly above. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:37, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
To further clarify, perhaps, look again at what User:ADM was saying -- their use sometimes of the term "homosexual" tout court, sometimes qualifying it as "serious homosexuals" or "self-described homosexuals"... apparently meaning, as far as I can tell, "people attracted to persons of the same sex who also think that sexual activity with others of the same sex is licit, and consider this sexual attraction and/or sexual activity to be a significant aspect of their identity". (ADM, correct me if I've misread you.) A fair number of people use the term "homosexual" to mean that or something like it, which is why it's important to define it when you use it in a narrower sense. --Jim Henry (talk) 15:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


Is there any collective appetite to create a separate article on the canonisation/ beatification of Newman and then link this page across? Otherwise my concern is that the section we have is slowly growing bit by bit and is beginning to distort the biographical aspect of the article. Canonisation will be of interest to Catholic readers (as well as no doubt many others) but perhaps has little directly to do with Newman the man. At some stage we will slip into WP:UNDUE I fear. If he were already a saint then the article would just say "Newman is recognised as a saint in the Catholic Church" and include little about the canonisation process unless it was particularly controversial or noteworthy. We're ending up with a running commentary on this page otherwise. Any thoughts? Contaldo80 (talk) 09:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Newman and Manning[edit]

This section should just be cut, I think. It is discursive editorial. Such facts as link Newman and Manning should take their places in the rest of the narrative. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Roman Catholic Bias?[edit]

I cannot help in reading this article to sense a strong Roman Catholic bias. Take the sentence in the first section: "Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Roman Catholic." First off this seems like a subjective comment, someone's interpretation of events rather than an actual fact. And since it is not referenced I have good reason for believing so. The comment itself gives the idea that "if people just studied history they would become Roman Catholic." I don't believe this was the intent but it sure is the ring. I understand that he rejected Anglicanism and surely the article should be clear in reflecting that, but this does not mean that the article should be used as an apologetic against Anglicanism and for Roman Catholicism.

I could give many other examples if any would like. It just seems that Newman's ideas (and they were HIS ideas) are espoused uncritically as if they are truth instead as if they are his ideas. Even the sentence at the end of the section, "Newman and Manning", is uncited and apologetic and subjective: "But Newman also changed history; by challenging the theological foundations of the Church of England, he caused many Anglicans to question their membership in that body. Quite a number became Roman Catholic." To anyone who did not know better and was merely reading this article without knowledge they would get the idea that this were a one way street or that Newman had once for all proved that Anglicans were not apostolic and that they should become Roman Catholic. Actually the road has been both ways as there are men who actually have become Anglican because of Newman's understanding of the development of doctrine in contrast to the apostolic faith which once for all has been handed down and is no longer under any serious development burt instead is guarded and passed on. It simply seems to be a one-sided and biased presentation of a controversial figure. Perhaps there should be a section giving some of the responses to Newman by Anglicans (and they are many). If not I suggest at the least citing the controverisal comments (I have only shown two that need citation) and I hope some editing is done to balance out the article to make it encyclopedic and not apologetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ic2705 (talkcontribs) 20:14, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure I could come up with ten references from Newman's own writings where he himself says that his studies in history led him to become Roman Catholic. It doesn't follow that the article is insinuating anything universal: what if we said "John Doe's interpretation of scripture led him to conclude that the world was flat."? As to your second point, it is also a clear fact that many converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism because of Newman. Sure, others have converted to Anglicanism from Roman Catholicism (although I would be willing to bet they are far fewer, I don't know how we could go about proving this), but only if you could find a source, that one of them says he did so because of Newman, would it be appropriate for inclusion in a discussion of his legacy. Even then, it will inevitably seem incongruous to include mention that some people were inspired by Newman to do the exact opposite of what Newman taught! In conclusion I do not think that this article has a Roman Catholic bias, rather it is an article about a Roman Catholic. -- (talk) 11:51, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
"Eventually his studies in history persuaded him to become a Roman Catholic." If anything, my studies in history persuaded me not to remain a Roman Catholic! That aside, I do have to agree with the editor who suggested that the tone is still a little triumphalist. I'm sure we can go a little way to evening it out. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Then your studies must've been focused on the Middle ages and reformation, and not early Christianity (ie the origins of Christianity), which I'm sure the author meant. --Paxcoder (talk) 18:03, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
No, I studied early Christianity too (in great depth). But we're straying away from the article. Have tried to address some of the bias issue in the section on Manning. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:21, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
We both mean Church fathers right, not apostles (ie the Biblical accounts)? See, I don't think you have, because you'd be drawing very different conclusions about the Faith. Perhaps you were taught things about them, but unless your memory is very bad you haven't read their stuff. Personally, I think St. Ignatius of Antioch is a treasure, and a great (nonmissing) link from the apostles. Then there's Augustine of Hippo - the guy's on fire. They both own in matters of Eucharist - something very unprotestant (Anglicans have a... version of their own though), and yet so very true and essential to Christian faith. But yeah, I wasn't addressing your comments about the section. You added a thing to it, so I just added a thing also. :-) --Paxcoder (talk) 00:11, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
"challenging the theological foundations of the Church of England, he caused many Anglicans to question their membership in that body. Quite a number became Roman Catholic." To anyone who did not know better and was merely reading this article without knowledge they would get the idea that this were a one way street or that Newman had once for all proved that Anglicans were not apostolic and that they should become Roman Catholic.
Well, I happen to suppose that Bl. John Henry actually had once and for all proved just this (I know with certainty of faith that this is true, only I haven't yet read Newman and so can't judge upon his work being a sufficient proof), but I can't see that somebody can reasonably get the idea from the text. The text says that he challenged Anglican doctrine, which at least is clear even in neutrality, and that many Anglicans questioned Anglicanism and quite a few became Roman Catholic I believe at once, without studying the documents (another question is what numbers are behind "many" and "quite a few"). -- (talk) 20:07, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Last week, I did a fairly heavy copyedit of this article's sections relating to Newman's associations with the Oxford Movement, removing some of the continued heavy Catholic bias. Then yesterday I got a message on my talkback page concerning my practice of adding Protestant commemorations to the Holidays & Observances sections, complaining that only the Roman Catholic version was "notable" and the others "redundant," specifically citing this still very problematic article as a paragon. Sheesh. That brushback did not stop me from doing some of the same on the problematic Katherine Drexel article this morning. Still, I don't think some more devotionally inclined editors realize that for most people, the bias is simply offputting -- as well as against wikipedia principles as I understand them. Or am I just biased as an anglican convert? Jweaver28 (talk) 15:13, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Copyright Issue[edit]

Large parts of this article seem to be copied directly from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Newman without attribution. ODNB articles are not in the public domain. I shall have a look at the history and try to revert back to a version without copyright infringement.

Kirstente (talk) 16:45, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I've deleted a few paragraphs, but I might have missed other parts also copied from the ODNB, so it would be good if someone-else who has ODNB access could check too.

Kirstente (talk) 17:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

"probably a sublimated homosexual"[edit]

There has been some contention over the following sentences in the "character" section: Newman was probably a sublimated homosexual.[15] The Oxford Movement contained a significant stream of homoeroticism,[15] and Newman's contemporaries noted his lack of virility and "characteristically feminine nature".[16] These sentences do not adhere to WP:ASF. Moreover, they give an imbalanced view of the opinions referenced, since the sources were written as attacks on Newman and the Oxford movement, intending to channel that society's widespread homophobia to discredit the movement. They are not unbiased character evaluations. Yes, there is a lot of speculation about what Newman's sexuality would have been if he had not been celibate, and the article should reflect that. But an encyclopedia article is not the place to argue or favour one line of speculation, or to represent speculation as fact. These sentences should be reworded, especially the first one which is a subjective summary of an entire book (its only reference, and one from the 1930s which predates the phrase "sublimated homosexual"). -- (talk) 08:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

If the book is from the 1930s, before the phrase "sublimated homosexual" came into use, where does the phrase as used in our article come from? Or to put that another way, what does the 1930s book actually say?
As for "probably a sublimated homosexual" (or whatever the source actually says), it would be appropriate to include it if it's ascribed ("Newman's biographer X believes Newman was...."). Since I don't have access to the book I can't really say more. PiCo (talk) 09:18, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
"...there is a lot of speculation about what Newman's sexuality would have been if he had not been celibate, and the article should reflect that." Can I just clarify - being celibate does not stop you from being homosexual or heterosexual. It simply means that you remain unmarried. Nor does having a homosexual or heterosexual sexual ortintation require you to engage in any sexual acts. Contaldo80 (talk) 13:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Certainly. But if someone does not engage in any homosexual or heterosexual acts, then it is necessarily only speculation whether that person is homosexual or heterosexual. Unless Newman indulged in one or the other form of sexuality, or expressed a preference, we can't know. It's like asking "would the Roman republic have survived if Julius Caesar had not been assassinated?". A lot can be argued on the topic, but we can never know. And, frankly, speculating about an individual's sexual preferences can often reserve a lot of surprises (the bully businessman who is a submissive, the outspoken prude whose basement is revealed to be filled with pornography, etc.) That Newman had close, deep relationships with Froude and St. John does not necessarily mean that there was ever an element of sexual desire to them. We can't know--if we could, it wouldn't be 'sublimated'!. Consider that a celibate heterosexual could well have such a relationship with a celibate, sublimating homosexual: he does not somehow become a sublimated homosexual himself in the process! Only one of the two men is actually a sublimated homosexual, but outsiders can only guess which one. -- (talk) 13:28, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I totally disagree. One does not have to engage in sexual acts to reveal a sexual orientation, it can also be an emotional response - and this sexuality is present throughout a person's dealings with others (intended or not). In Newman's case he developed intense relationships with men such as Froude and St. John which reveals a deep emotional attachment that strongly suggest an orientation towards the same-sex. That some religious men or women are celibate in their lives, does not mean that they have no sexual or emotional desires; it simply means that they repress them. Might be worth taking a look at Roden's chapted on Newman in "Same Sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture", Palgrave Macmillan (February 15, 2003). Contaldo80 (talk) 13:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Highly misleading "quote"[edit]

"Newman directed that he be buried in the same grave as St John[2], "the greatest love of his life." "I wish, with all my heart, to be buried in Fr Ambrose St John's grave — and I give this as my last, my imperative will"[19]"

The phrase "the greatest love of his life" comes from the highly editorialized Daily Mail reporter who is referenced, while the following quote is Newman's own. Yet the text as it stands implies that Newman called St. John "the greatest love of his life", when he did not. This is highly misleading, it would be better to omit the Daily Mail's words entirely and let Newman speak for himself. -- (talk) 09:04, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome to make edits like that without discussion - just give the reason in your edit summary. If someone reverts, then you can bring it to Talk. PiCo (talk) 09:12, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
This edit is fine. I was less happy about the rest. Contaldo80 (talk) 14:37, 9 September 2010 (UTC)


There's a recent biog of Newman here - might be useful to anyone doing a re-write. And another one - better to use these more recent sources where possible. PiCo (talk) 09:27, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Undergraduate education[edit]

The details seem to have got lost. He went up (at a young age) to Trinity College, Oxford. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:43, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Views on slavery[edit]

Are Newman's views on slavery in any way remarkable? Was he involved with or againsts the abolitionist movement in any way? In short, is there any reason why his vague views on the subject are included in this article? Rwflammang (talk) 20:42, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

To the extent that he was disagreeing with Thomas William Allies, also a Catholic convert from the Oxford Movement, his views might be included to show the lack of homogeneity of belief in that group. This applies also to his differences from Manning. In other words, controversies in which he took part may properly be included in the article. The criterion there should be "salience". Charles Matthews (talk) 07:52, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Discussion of sexuality[edit]

This is certainly not off-limits, but references to Geoffrey Faber's book without specific page references are inadequate, to say the least. I read it through recently, and the language used is careful: what is implied there is only implied, in some cases, and it is well below our standards to rely on summary judgements of what Faber might have meant. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:06, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I certainly agree that Faber does not explicitly call Newman a "sublimated homosexual" but rather protrays him in that way, so think we need to change the text slightly to reflect. While I'm not sure it is essential, I am neverthelesss happy to look at providing some page numbers if that helps. Contaldo80 (talk) 13:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
You still insist, Contaldo, on restoring your summary judgement, which is still only an opinion and therefore not worthy of being stated as a straight fact (WP:ASF). That you insist on continually restoring the phrase well beyond WP:3RR points to this being some kind of personal hobbyhorse of yours, and not a good faith attempt to improve the article. -- (talk) 13:14, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
In terms of 3RR, I haven't looked at the whole edit history, but of the two most recent restorations of the material, one was by me.
In terms of the issue, if the source doesn't explicitly say "sublimated homosexual" then I can't see how we can. Newman has been dead for quite a while now so, whilst there may be evidence of his homosexuality, it would seem unlikely that we can possibly know if he sublimated it, because he is not known to have spoken in detail on the topic (ie it is hard to see how it is a fair representation of any source that doesn't actually say it).
There also seem to be attempts to remove reference to Newman's sexuality or to add doubtful clarification (such as stating that his relationships with men were "chaste" - again how can this possibly be known?). That seems to me to be very tendentious. --FormerIP (talk) 14:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't counting restorations like yours in my gripe--there the whole section was removed, which is clearly overkill. But I and others have made many attempts to remove or at least alter the troublesome sentence "Newman was probably a sublimated homosexual", always to have it restored by the same user. For the record, I'd prefer something like "It has been speculated that Newman was a sublimated homosexual", or even "widely speculated" if we decide that it is, but the phrasing as it stands is out of place in an encyclopedia article. -- (talk) 14:28, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Fundamentally, if we have opinions from Faber or anyone else (and I don't suppose there is a shortage of opinions), they must be directly cited to given pages, and attributed to the authors. This really is not negotiable. In fact the whole "Character" sections requires proper citation, or it should be cut right back to the bone. Charles Matthews (talk) 19:40, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

For example, Faber writes this (Pelican edition p. 218):

"Of all [Newman's] friends [Hurrell Froude] filled the deepest place in his heart, and I'm not the first to point out that his occasional notions of marrying definitely ceased with the beginning of his real intimacy with Froude".

He footnotes Edwin Abbott Abbott's Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman. There is a great deal more about emotional friendships and the Tractarians in the same chapter. It all ends in question marks, though. I think we should give Faber's words (not necessarily these particular ones). Charles Matthews (talk) 19:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

The article currently seems to say nothing about suggestions that Newman was specifically gay. Since the suggestions have been made by well-known people (and incidentally seem perfectly plausible), the article should say something about it. If nothing else Peter Tatchell is a source - I just saw him discussing the issue in a Channel 4 documentary. (talk) 21:08, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Peter Tatchell is a source for Peter Tatchell's opinions on the matter. Citing a TV programme is troublesome, but he has said this before. And been contradicted. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:51, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Except he hasn't really been contradicted. There is nothing to suggest that Newman was heterosexual. He had a fear of female company and formed close attachments only with men. The emotional link with Frounde and St John was intense, even if we take into account Victorian sensibilities. I agree that Faber's commentary is suggestive rather than explicit, and that is why we say that he has portrayed Newman as a sublimated homosexual. If we are looking for contemporary accounts that say "Newman was gay" then we will not find them - firstly the term is anachronistic, but secondly these issues were not dealt with in an open manner at this time. Instead we have to carefully read the signals. "Same Sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture", Palgrave Macmillan (February 15, 2003) has a chapter on Newman and sets out the context more carefully. This is all nuanced and ambiguous - I suggest we try and reflect as carefully as we can. Finally, the issue of sexuality has received a lot of press coverage recently and I think we do no favours by tucking it all into a metaphorical post-script. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:37, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Of course he has been contradicted. And where you say Instead we have to carefully read the signals, that is exactly what Wikipedians have not to do. The "debate" with Tatchell and Ker has to be treated under NPOV like any other controversy. Where you say tucking it all into a metaphorical post-script, what we have to do is to make sure that the current media discussion is covered in due proportion with everything else. It is exactly true that the terms now common for sexual orientation are anachronistic for Victorians. The conclusion must be, not that we don't mention the issue, but we place such historical material as there is (here the relationships are not disputed, though their nature may be), and such biographical material that is in good, reliable sources, in summary, where the readers can see it. There is current media controversy, but commentators (by the way, Tatchell is criticised too, but really most things about him belong in his article not here) are not necessarily authoritative at all. The style "A says X (ref) while B says Y (ref)" with brief reasons is adequate to give the reader an idea of what is being discussed and why. Serious historians and biographers actually should dominate our coverage. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:06, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

You've misunderstood what I'm trying to say. When I say that we have to read the signals, I am talking as a historian rather than a wikipedia editor. Historians look at the wider context for actions/ events in order to draw conclusions. However, I agree that it's not the role of editors to "read signals" in a way that creates original research, and I am not advocating this. With that all said I think I am broadly content with the text as we have it now. I was a little unsure about removing the sub-title of "sexuality" and replacing it with "personal relationships" but I can live with that. I have added some other references to contemporary commentary. A couple of things we need to note though - this is not something that Tatchell alone is promoting; the sexuality of Newman is of interest to mainstream historical discourse - Tatchell has just been the most vocal individual on the subject. Nor have I seen anything by anyone to suggest that Newman was heterosexual (the issue of contradiction) - if anyone has something then I'd like to see it. All Ker is able to do is emphasise that Newman was celibate and chaste. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:55, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

No, I have understood you perfectly well, I believe. We are no more entitled to do the job of historians here, than to add "original research" of any kind. Please note that if you want the interpretative phrase "the late Victorian definition of a male invert or homosexual" in the article, you have to show it verbatim from the Roden reference. And please read [3] where Ker is cited on Newman as heterosexual. As you know, it doesn't matter what you or I think: Ker has written at least three books on Newman. It doesn't matter what you or I make of the evidence. We need to summarise the debate, and if Tatchell and Ker stand for the two points of view that get into the media, we just say what they think. It would indeed be good to have a clearer reference to Ker, but the CTS booklet is there and now mentioned in the other ref. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:26, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

The phrase "the late Victorian definition of a male invert or homosexual" is verbatim from Roden. Secondly I'm not particularly convinced by Ker's impartiality. To give him his full title it's Father Ian Ker, a Roman Catholic priest and Dominican who was employed by the Catholic Church to produce arguments as to why Tatchell's claim must be wrong. We know who Peter Tatchell is and his promition of gay rights; but do we all know who Ian Ker is? Contaldo80 (talk) 09:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
At one point I had added Ker's connection to St Benet's Hall, Oxford where he is a Senior Reseach Fellow[4], but it was taken out later by another editor. It is not essential information. According to a book jacket he is a member of the theology faculty of Oxford University, and he has a page there.[5] He's an academic; and he is a priest also. I haven't seen postnominals with his name. In any case he would pass the notability test for academics, I think. But we are not in the business of judging anything: nor of deciding or commenting on who is impartial.
I restate again. Ker is not a historian; he is a theologian. I agree he's an academic but that's like suggesting an academic from the chemistry department is qualified to talk on matters relating to modern languages. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:21, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
On the Roden quote, you were invited before to improve the reference. Charles Matthews (talk) 10:10, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to get drawn into this fight, but I've cut the section back a bit - it was getting too long and detailed, as tends to happen when editors start warring - and tried to make it more readable. I might also comment that Ker is on dangerous ground when he starts defending Newman by saying that Oxford was an all-male environment: yes, it was, and it was also a hotbed of homosexuality right up till the 20th century (read Evelyn Waugh's biographies, for example). PiCo (talk) 23:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Ker's biography has its problems - he calls Faber's interpretation "Freudian" and then uses the term "subconscious" which is not correctly Freudian. But anyway the point is to represent Ker's argument fairly, and to the extent that readers can understand what is going on. To oversimplify, where Tatchell is claiming to be able to translate from Victorian writings into sexual orientation, Ker is pointing out that there are cultural factors obstructing the translator. That at least is a debate one can understand, and it matters less in detail who is on either side (Ker's place might be taken by other historians, with a different list). We can represent this argument on Wikipedia not by foisting all that on the reader, but laying out this example in fair summary.

The length of the section is not disproportionate, and I'm not going to put back the biographers you cut this evening. The section needed some expansion to achieve a measure of neutrality, I would say. I am going to cut out some of the spin that has been added: it's just going to cause further trouble. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:38, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I've seen this type of argument on other pages - someone says X, someone else says Y, then they each put more and more sources up to support their initial statements. I think the way around it is to avoid any discussion of N's sexuality as such - give the man some privaacy - and just note any public controversy, which does seem to exist. PiCo (talk) 04:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

We have references to half-a-dozen very different biographical accounts; and I agree that it is best to give as plain a presentation as is possible compatible with decent writing. We don't avoid anything though, just put the ball in the reader's court with an adequate selection from literature. Charles Matthews (talk) 06:08, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

As usual, many baseless words are employed in a Wikipedia biographical article about this topic. There is no proof of any outward deviant behavior. Newman made no admissions and there were no witnesses. No one knows for certain what thoughts were in Newman's mind other than those that he reported in his own spoken words and in his writings. There were no deviant actions and there were no private deviant thoughts that were made public.Lestrade (talk) 20:05, 22 September 2010 (UTC)Lestrade
I think you're confused. We've been discussing Newman's possible homosexuality rather than a "deviancy". Contaldo80 (talk) 09:24, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

In Schopenhauer's list of ways to win an argument, your tactic is Number 3. "Ignore your opponent's proposition, which was intended to refer to some particular thing. Rather, understand it in some quite different sense, and then refute it. Attack something different than what was asserted." My contention is that there were no witnesses in Newman's bedroom, there were no accomplices who came forward with statements, and there were no admissions by Newman in speech or writing. As a result, all allegations are unverifiable and mere attempts to attribute characteristics that cannot be proven to belong to that man. The reason that anyone might want to attribute such characteristics cannot be discussed in this page, although it is an important topic regarding all Wikipedia biographical articles. Certain groups might want to attribute false characteristics in order to support their own opinions and actions.Lestrade (talk) 15:20, 1 October 2010 (UTC)Lestrade

If I may, I will take Schopenhauer's tactic number 3 and ignore you. While I commend the evident hard work that has now gone into the section on sexuality, I can't help fearing "the lady doth protest too much". It's actually not that bizarre a concept for Newman to have been born homosexual but to have followed Church teaching on celibacy - while allowing himself to feel most at ease in the company of other men. He wouldn't be the first, and I'm sure he won't be the last. However, we've had to hedge it all in reams of language because the Catholic Church has beatified him and you can't beatify "bad people" (of course you can, but that's another discussion). All that stuff about girls and letters to women though is a little embarassing, and does try a bit too hard. But I don't propose to change anything. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:47, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
As it says at the top, "This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject". And I think you have pushed your POV quite hard enough already. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:56, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't having a general discussion. My comments were related to specific discussion of the text. And I find it deeply insulting that you accuse me of "pushing my POV". Will you please demonstrate specifically how I have "pushed my POV"? Happy for you to comment on my own talk page if most appropriate. Frankly, I would have expected better from an administrator - and hoped all could contribute in a courteous and respectful manner, free from bias. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
The same editor has now attacked the Desiderius Erasmus with the same agenda. Other editors comments are welcome. Student7 (talk) 15:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Presumably the bad old gay "agenda". Don't tire yourself out - I've decided you can do whatever you want. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:51, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Theology and views[edit]

What discussion there is in the article of Newman's theology is not really adequate, and is not fully representative of modern views of him (as far as I can see). What I detect in reading around it that Newman occupies a somewhat paradoxical position as a consistent opponent of liberal theology but at least a precursor of modernism (Roman Catholicism), Further at the time of Vatican I he occupied a rather fretful conciliarist position, and he is now in some ways identified with the approach of Vatican II. All this is my entirely non-expert opinion. I'd be grateful if we could turn to discussion of some meaningful way of including Newman's views as a Catholic theological writer in the article, in more coherent form. Charles Matthews (talk) 06:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

No body in grave[edit]

According to Ann Widdecombe, in the BBC2 programme "Newman: Saint or Sinner" broadcast on 18 September 2010 [6], it seems that Newman had left "precise instructions" that he should be buried with a "special soil" which would aid the decompositon of his body. (See iplayer from time 57:20 [7])Martinevans123 (talk) 17:47, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

From the West Midlands news article now given: "Prof Hunter said he chose to investigate out of curiosity and was only able to obtain a sample from ground near to the cemetery, not from the grave itself. He said there were three options: either the soil environment of the grave was different to the sample tested, bones were missed when the grave was exhumed or the body was never there in the first place." The BBC programme would seem to support Hunter's first option, but with new evidence about the "precise instructions". So maybe this should be added? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:16, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I will do that. It would probably have to magic soil though to make a body totally dissapear in a century, teeth, hair and all. In Romsey Abbey a fine head of woman's hair from a Saxon grave is displayed, everything else having dissolved away, but that happened over a millenium and the hair stayed in perfect condition. I wonder if Newman still had hair and teeth when he died?--Charles (talk) 21:29, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and of course we have Lindow Man etc etc. Just because "precise instructions" were left, that does not mean these were necessarily followed. And what better way to stay undisturbed, if one wished to be secretly buried elsewhere, than to throw up a posthoumous smokescreen of "special soil". I'm not sure what the limit of forensic archeological science is these days. But it seems Newman genuinely wished for anonymity, even beyond, or perhaps especially, beyond his death. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Quite so. I removed Widdecombe's opinion because it does not carry due weight for inclusion. She has no scientific background and her pronouncements on Newman appear to be nothing more than personal opinions based on her religious beliefs. (She is a climate change denier on the basis that people can look out of their window to see that the climate is not changing). The contemporary source descibes the soil in the grave as lighter, not "special". Any further interpretation of that is just spin.--Charles (talk) 08:29, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Global warming aside, where does Widdecombe’s opinion end and BBC WP:RS begin? I would have thought a statement like that ought to have been thoroughly researched by the programme maker? Perhaps, as a notable recent Catholic convert, Widdecombe’s opinion is given more weight. Not sure whether that means it's spin. Am happy to leave out any mention for now. But I was wondering if the special soil itself might not also have been neutralised over the course of 120 years? And who is to say that the coffin had any handles – or was even made of wood? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Reference 45 says the wooden coffin was completely decayed and details what was found including a brass plate, brass handles and pieces of textile, but nothing of two corpses that were expected to be in the grave. The BBC is only as reliable as the people they give a platform to.--Charles (talk) 22:02, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that. I’m still unsure if the presence of metal handles and plate proves there should have been bones. I think the BBC owes some responsibility to the script of what purports to be a semi-documentary. Maybe more will come to light. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:38, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I think he was assumed into Heaven - after all, he was a saint. Should that go in the article?PiCo (talk) 01:18, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I hope you are being facetious. Not a saint until the vatican finds a second supposed miracle and I am sure they are working hard on that. Perhaps they will claim the vanishing body as that. I looked at Widdecombe's programme again and in spite of having nearly an hour to fill she never even mentions the possibility that he may simply have been buried elsewhere.--Charles (talk) 10:07, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure it's what he would have wanted. An assumption, that is, not a beatification (nor any discussion here) But discovery of the body - now that would be a miracle (?) Martinevans123 (talk) 21:07, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Blessed etc[edit]

Surely according to Wikipedia rules - WP:NCCL - neither 'Blessed' nor 'Cardinal' should precede his name's first appearance in the lead? Eg Paul of Tarsus, Thomas More. Like More, he's at least as notable for other things - his poetry, autobiography, Tracts and other writings, and his part in religious controversies, as his recent beatification.Straw Cat (talk) 18:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

You misunderstand the rule, which (I quote) "contains guidance on how to title articles" (boldface mine). The article title should not have Cardinal or Blessed, but both should redirect to "John Henry Newman". There is absolutely no reason not to state his full title at the beginning of the article (but not throughout, which would make it sound like a devotional tract instead of an encyclopaedia article). -- (talk) 12:29, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately it's not quite so simple! MOS:HONORIFIC, which specifically refers to inline references, states: "Styles and honorifics related to clergy and royalty, including but not limited to His Holiness and Her Majesty, should not be included in the text inline but may be discussed in the article proper. Clergy should be named as described in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (clergy)." But really we have to use common sense and the main issue seems to me conforming to NPOV and WP:UNDUE. Starting off an article about one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement with "Blessed John H Newman" certainly doesn't.Straw Cat (talk) 13:39, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the present version of the lede with the bold title from a redirect in the second line is satisfactory.--Charles (talk) 13:42, 22 September 2010 (UTC)


The section heading ("Interpretations") needs to be changed - anyone looking at the ToC would have no idea what it's about; and in any case it's far too long - a paragraph or so would be quite enough. PiCo (talk) 01:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

POV ![edit]

quote: "Geoffrey Faber, whose own account of Newman in Oxford Apostles was far from hagiographic, found Strachey's portrait a distasteful caricature, bearing scant likeness to the Newman of history and designed solely "to tickle the self-conceit of a cynical and beliefless generation".[92] Strachey was only ten when Newman died and never met him. In contrast to Strachey's caricature, James Anthony Froude, Hurrell Froude's brother, who knew Newman at Oxford, saw him as a Carlylean hero." Come on! This is POV with a vengeance! Which could be more of a caricature, Strachey (who, while grinding an axe, did show the complexity of the man) or the one who called him a "Carlylean hero"? Strachey did not present a "distasteful caricature" of Newmann, he protrayed him with empathy. Strachey´s caricature (unless the man was really as evil as Stracheay made out) was Manning. But maybe the authors of this article feel it necessary at all costs to discredit Strachey ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

By no means, any more than you are attempting to discredit Faber. Rwflammang (talk) 00:08, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
An elegant rejoinder, Rwflammang, but I am sure you know yourself that I was not meaning to discredit Faber, whom I of course have not read. He is a source. I was pointing out that your encyclopaedic article removed the inverted commas from the second mention of "caricature", transforming POV into fact, with finesse. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:53, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

File:John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on November 28, 2013. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2013-11-28. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:47, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

John Henry Newman
John Henry Newman (1801–90) was a British cleric and leader in the Oxford Movement, a group of Anglicans who wished to return the Church of England to many Catholic beliefs and forms of worship traditional in the medieval times. In 1845 Newman converted to Catholicism, eventually rising to cardinal.Painting: John Everett Millais

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calls for execution?[edit]

Is there nothing in any Reliable Source about any group within the Anglican Church that was calling for him to be burned at the stake for his heresy? Granted they may have been a minority, but if such a responsible move ever took place, the article should note it. (talk) 21:32, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:John Henry Newman/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 18:03, 14 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 20:13, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Cardinalate and "citation needed"[edit]

Someone may wish to read the text at s:Eminent Victorians/Cardinal Manning#104 and try to incorporate that view point. It seems to more indicate that Manning was trying to do nothing about progressing a cardinalate for Newman from the English end. That he did do things when pushed by Leo (at the instigation of the Duke of Norfolk), though also tried to stymie the process by other means. — billinghurst sDrewth 01:27, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Homosexuality section[edit]

I realise that, for whatever reason, the Anglo-Saxons are absolutely obsessed with homosexuality, but there appears to be far too much focus on this in the article. There are three paragraphs for Newman's involvement in the Oxford Movement (one of the more notable aspects of his life) and then five great big bulky paragraphs of what amounts to mere insinuation and gossip, drummed up after his death, that this celibate man was somehow a homosexual. It is a bit farcical. Claíomh Solais (talk) 21:47, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

I think it might just be you that has an obsession. I don't know what decade you live in but celibate men can be homosexual - homosexual attraction is not confined to sexual acts. Anyway unless you can point to a specific issue in terms of references etc then I suggest you keep your musings to yourself. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:26, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
Newman lived in the 19th century, but, whatever century it is, doesn't make a difference. We don't, for example, describe the present Pope as "heterosexual" and offer up five juicy paragraphs of what he may or may not privately think of women, if only he were not celibate. The opinions expressed in those paragraphs are completely undue weight and based on fringe theories created by people long after he died. This is essentially a fringe issue made into the most important aspect of the article.
I am proposing that the section be trimmed down completely to a passing reference. IMO, their undue weight reflects late 20th century/early 21st century, Western European/North American obsession with sexuality generally and homosexuality in particular, rather than being representative of Newman's life. We literally have no evidence that there was any erotic context to a single one of Newman's male friendships. The conjecture that effete mannerisms is enough to try and present him as homosexual is equally dubious; Mike Tyson speaks with a lisp. Claíomh Solais (talk) 14:14, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

From the wikipedia article on Pope John Paul II:

"In 1973, while still the archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła befriended a Polish-born, later American philosopher, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. The thirty-two-year friendship (and occasional academic collaboration) lasted until his death. She served as his host when he visited New England in 1976 and photos show them together on skiing and camping trips. Letters that he wrote to her were part of a collection of documents sold by Tymieniecka’s estate in 2008 to the National Library of Poland. According to the BBC the library had initially kept the letters from public view, partly because of John Paul’s path to sainthood, but a library official announced in February 2016 the letters would be made public. In February 2016 the BBC documentary program Panorama revealed that John Paul II had apparently had a 'close relationship' with the Polish-born philosopher. The pair exchanged personal letters over 30 years, with Tymieniecka telling Wojtyła that she loved him. The Vatican described the documentary as "more smoke than mirrors", and Tymieniecka denied being involved with John Paul II. Writers Carl Bernstein, the veteran investigative journalist of the Watergate scandal, and Vatican expert Marco Politi, were the first journalists to talk to Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka in the 1990s about her importance in John Paul's life. They interviewed her and dedicated 20 pages to her in their 1996 book His Holiness. Bernstein and Politi even asked her if she had ever developed any romantic relationship with John Paul II, "however one-sided it might have been." She responded, "No, I never fell in love with the cardinal. How could I fall in love with a middle-aged clergyman? Besides, I’m a married woman.""

Now please don't let me distract you from your earnest work elsewhere on wikipedia in trying to discredit anti-fascist groups. "Western European/North American obsession with sexuality generally and homosexuality in particularly". You're certainly right that there's at least one person around with an obsession. Contaldo80 (talk) 14:33, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Namely you. Recall: "People in glass houses, etc."77Mike77 (talk) 13:44, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Unless you can back up this insinuation with evidence then I suggest you retract and apologise. Incidentally for future reference I don't live in a green house. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:28, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Your obsessions and aggression issues are on public display for all to see, so no "references" required. I apologize only for failing to predict how severely triggered you'd be by a comment that is less offensive than your own comments. Have a nice day, if such a thing is possible in your world.77Mike77 (talk) 18:21, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Lol. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:27, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
The information you are referencing from the article on John Paul II, is discussing a friendship with a woman, not a section entitled "Sexuality" following by endless paragraphs of revisionist political activism, which tries to recast a historical figure to fit a niche which is not at all relevant to the overall portrayal of him (Newman is most noted as a Victorian Englishman who converted to Catholicism). Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka may well have been an important part of John Paul II's life as a friend and that thus may be relevant to mention in a non-erotic context (as the article does). Bernstein's rude and presumptuous question is dealt with there, with a once sentence rebuff. Here, every effort it made to exaggerate, where any male who Newman exchanged pleasantries with is presented as being in some kind of secret homosexual relationship with him, based on no evidence. It is grasping and redundant. Claíomh Solais (talk) 15:36, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
As I said the material in this article looks fine to me. Most main-stream biographers deal with the issue of Newman's sexuality (which is not incidental as it actually required the Vatican to intervene during the recent canonisation process to give its view). The article is the result of long debate and consensus building (a theme you may be singularly unfamiliar with). Your edit history suggests you are a highly partisan and disruptive editor. If there are specific errors in the material, an issue with sources etc, then please go ahead and suggest how they can be improved. If you are having a general whinge about your perception of "revisionist political activism" then I think we all need to move on. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:10, 16 August 2017 (UTC)