Appeared in Winter 1989, Vol. XV, No. 4
In this essay we will examine Cardinal Newman’s various writings about the Mother of God, but I almost need to begin with something like an apology for I will be discussing Newman as a controversialist, rather than as a theologian or devotional writer. It does indeed seem unworthy of either Newman or Mary, the Queen of Peace, to revive old controversies, but as is well known, Cardinal Newman never wrote without a “call,” or some very good reason why he thought it necessary to respond to some charge or book; and many of his writings on our Blessed Mother, unfortunately, fall into that category. As reluctant as he generally was to put forth any personal revelation about himself or his faith, he was even more reluctant to discuss one of Catholicism’s greatest treasures, the patronage of the Mother of God. Yet, we really cannot understand Newman’s genius as a writer unless we examine the issues to which his works were directed.
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