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Prince Charles: Newman’s example is needed more than ever

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Newman could 'advocate without accusation' and 'disagree without disrespect,' the Prince of Wales said

The canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman will be a cause for celebration, not just for Catholics or for the people of Britain, but for all who share his vision, Prince Charles has said.

In an article for The Times, due to published at fuller length in L’Osservatore Romano, the Prince of Wales wrote that the world needs Newman’s example more than ever, and that the soon-to-be canonised saint “could advocate without accusation, could disagree without disrespect and perhaps most of all could see differences as places of encounter rather than exclusion.”

“His engagement first with Anglican theology, and after his conversion Catholic theology, impressed even his opponents with its fearless honesty, its unsparing rigour and its originality of thought,” the Prince wrote.

“Whatever our own beliefs or tradition, we can be thankful for the gifts, rooted in his Catholic faith, which Newman shared with wider society: his intense and moving spiritual autobiography and his deeply-felt poetry in The Dream of Gerontius which, set to music by Sir Edward Elgar — another Catholic of whom all Britons can be proud — gave the world one of its most enduring choral masterpieces.”

Newman’s work in the 19th century helped Catholics “become fully part of wider society, enriching our nation, a community of communities in a way for which all Britons must owe him eternal gratitude,” the heir to the throne added.

The Prince of Wales will be the most senior representative of the British state at the canonisation of John Henry Newman on Sunday. He will be joined by thirteen MPs and peers from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Rehman Chishti MP.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Sir Edward Leigh MP, who is leading the parliamentary delegation, said the group was “deeply honoured that Her Majesty the Queen is sending the Prince of Wales to represent her and the United Kingdom as a whole.”

“It’s a good sign of the esteem in which Cardinal Newman is held nearly a hundred and thirty years after his death,” the MP said.