Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A love even death couldn't part

Andrew Sullivan's telling of the tale needs no rephrasing or embellishment--so here it is, verbatim.

The Last Laugh of Cardinal Newman
The Vatican, in preparation for the beatification of
John Henry Newman, decided to disinter the famous cardinal's remains from the burial ground he wanted. Why? Well, it is not unusual to re-bury saints, but it is also undeniable that the Vatican was worried about Newman's stated desire to be buried next to his great love, Ambrose St John. From Wiki:

“[Newman] had stated on three occasions his desire to be buried with his friend, including shortly before his death in 1890: 'I wish, with all my heart, to be buried in Fr Ambrose St John's grave--and I give this as my last, my imperative will', he wrote, later adding: 'This I confirm and insist on.'”

The tombstone's
cryptic inscription for the two men who loved one another and lived together (by all accounts celibately) reads:

“Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem ('Out of shadows and phantasms into the truth')”.

The inference that Newman might have been yet another gay saint was too much for the current pontiff, hence his decision to violate Newman's last wishes and
separate him from his beloved for ever.

It's vital for the Vatican to insist that even celibate gay men are so mentally disordered that they are ineligible for the priesthood, along the lines of Benedict's new policy. To add Newman to the list of priests that the current Vatican would bar from a seminary would be embarrassing even for the current Pope. But there's a punchline: the
tomb was empty! Newman had been buried in a wooden coffin and not a trace of him remained:

“There was no body to exhume, nothing at all. Not a trace of bone, hair, human remains or anything except this plate.”

Yes, there is a God. The remains of Newman and St John will be physically commingled for ever--and not even a bigot like Benedict can do anything about it.


TheBachelorGirl said...

I read this with Menchu singing in the background. Very fitting... A tribute to enduring love...

Nic's Mommy said...


beektur said...

shhhh...calm down. in the end, the God that Benedict worships is still far wiser and much more understanding and compassionate than all the popes, philanderers, pillagers, preachers and poseurs combined. Cheers!

gibbs cadiz said...

LORNA, haha, good soundtrack! :)

LEA, amen! :)

aynaku, BEEKTUR, sinabi mo. :)

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