Abstract and Keywords
This chapter begins with an assessment of Newman as one of the most important influences behind the Second Vatican Council, before moving on to discuss his contributions to ecumenism, or ‘reunion’ as it was usually called, in his own time. After showing how he remained opposed to what he regarded as the system of ‘papalism’ in his Anglican years, even as late as 1841, the chapter moves on to analyse his contribution to the debates of the 1860s that had been sparked by Edward Bouverie Pusey’s response to Henry Manning’s attacks on the Anglican Church of his baptism. Newman in turn responded to Pusey’s Eirenicon which led to a lengthy correspondence and two further volumes from Pusey. The subject-matter, which focused on the doctrines of Mary as well as papal infallibility, revealed important differences between the two former Tractarians. Where Pusey regarded the teachings of the Church as settled and fixed in the written traditions grounded in the early Church, Newman held that Christian life and practice were equally important and were open to change and development. Although the declaration of infallibility scuppered ecumenism for many decades, the debates between Pusey and Newman reveal an openness and sympathy for one another’s opinion that paved the way for a future after Vatican II in which mutual respect would flourish.
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