The U.S. bishops voted almost unanimously (with two “no” votes) on 15th November to support of a request by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales that Pope Francis name St. John Henry Newman, the 19th-century British cardinal, a doctor of the church.
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chair of the doctrine committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, presented the question to the body of bishops. A majority of members present and voting was needed to pass the motion. Bishop Flores said in June the conference received the request from Cardinal Nichols of Westminster, president of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales, requesting “that the USCCB send a letter in support of the proposal.”
He noted that the conferences of the Catholic bishops of Ireland and Scotland also have agreed to support this. “The Committee on Doctrine considered this matter back in 2019 and concluded that the writings of St. John Henry Newman are truly eminent and of great relevance for the church today, especially in the areas of the development of doctrine, the moral foundations of education, the primacy of conscience, the role of the laity and the search for the truth, amongst many others,” Bishop Flores said.
“The committee therefore determined that St. John Henry Newman is indeed worthy of this high honour.” With the U.S. bishops’ support, a letter will be sent to the pope.
Picture: (CNS photo/Junno Arocho Esteves)