John Henry Newman should be considered a Doctor of the Church who ranks alongside early Christianity’s great thinkers, a senior cardinal has argued.
In a powerfully argued speech ahead of Newman’s canonisation, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and a respected theologian, said the new English saint was eligible thanks to his contribution to the development of Christian teaching. Doctors of the Church are saints who have helped deepen understanding of the faith. Just 36 men and women have been elevated to the position in Christian history.
“It seems to me that the English master ranks among such Doctors of the Faith as Athanasius and Augustine, whose lives were confessions of faith at the cost of great sacrifice, and who provided decisive insights on either its content or its act,” the 75-year-old Canadian cardinal said during a speech at the Casino Pio IV, in the Vatican gardens.
Newman was canonised in a ceremony in St Peter’s Square on 13th October, along with four others. To mark the event the British Embassy to the Holy See hosted an event to celebrate his life.