Pope Notes Primacy of God in Newman's Life

Says Through Conversion, He Became Increasingly Himself

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ROME, NOV. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is highlighting the primacy of God in the life and thought of Blessed John Henry Newman, and the continual conversion of the Englishman.

The Pope made this reflection in a message sent to participants in a symposium organized in Rome by the International Centre of Newman Friends together with the Pontifical Gregorian University.

The two-day conference began today, and focuses on the topic: «The Primacy of God in the Life and Writings of Blessed John Henry Newman.»

In his message, the Pontiff affirmed his joy of having been able to preside at the beatification ceremony of Cardinal Newman during his Sept. 16-19 visit to the United Kingdom.

The Holy Father recalled Newman’s conversion, in which «he discovered the objective truth of a personal and living God, who speaks to the conscience and reveals to man his condition of creature.»

Benedict XVI continued: «He understood his own dependence on the being of him who is the principle of all things, thus finding in him the origin and meaning of his personal identity and singularity.

«It was this particular experience that constitutes the basis of the primacy of God in Newman’s life.»

The Pope noted that Newman «expresses wholly his disposition to a continuous interior conversion, transformation and growth, always confidently leaning on God.»

He added that «Newman was throughout his life one who was converted, who was transformed, and in this always remained himself, and always became increasingly himself.»

«The horizon of the primacy of God also marked profoundly Newman’s numerous publications,» the Pontiff observed.

He stated that the primacy of God is translated, for Newman, «in the primacy of truth, a truth that is sought above all by disposing one’s inner self to acceptance, in an open and sincere confrontation with everyone, and which finds its culmination in the encounter with Christ.»

The Holy Father concluded, «To Blessed John Henry Newman, master in teaching us that the primacy of God is the primacy of truth and of love, I entrust the reflections and work of the present symposium.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31032?l=english

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