On the eve of the canonisation of St John Henry Newman, the Prince of Wales penned an article about England’s newest saint for the Vatican newspaper.
St Newman’s example, he wrote, ‘is needed more than ever for the manner in which, at his best, he could advocate without accusation, could disagree without disrespect and, perhaps most of all, could see differences as places of encounter rather than exclusion’.
The article was released as a conference about St Newman was ending at the Vatican with a cardinal calling for the declaration of the 19th-century theologian, poet and pastor as a ‘doctor of the Church’.
Prince Charles attended the Mass and canonisation of St Newman and four others on Sunday 13th October in St Peter’s Square. A large delegation of Anglican priests and bishops joined him at the Mass to honour the British saint who had served as an Anglican priest before joining the Catholic Church.
Christians should not be afraid of differences, Prince Charles wrote, after all, ‘harmony requires difference. The concept rests at the very heart of Christian theology in the concept of the Trinity’.
‘As such,’ he said, ‘difference is not to be feared. Newman not only proved this in his theology and illustrated it in his poetry, but he also demonstrated it in his life. Under his leadership, Catholics became fully part of the wider society, which itself, thereby, became all the richer as a community of communities.’
Picture: Prince Charles waits for the start of the canonisation Mass for five new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday 13th October 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).