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Liturgical Press

Page, John: What Will Dr. Newman Do? John Henry Newman and Papal Infallibility

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The fact of Newman's struggle with Pastor aeternus' definition of the papal exercise of the Church's infallibility is perhaps as well known as the balance of his famous Letter to the Duke of Norfolk is appreciated. John R. Page's What Will Dr Newman Do? contributes a definitive narrative of the precise contours of that struggle in the years immediately preceding and following Vatican Council I. One finds a painstaking and exhaustive treatment of Newman's extant letters and private memoranda on the subject together with a discussion of the letters and editorials to which he responded. Page masterfully employs Newman's diary entries to set the correspondence in context. The reader gains a vivid awareness of the complexity of Newman's efforts adequately to explain the Council's definition. Moreover, Page repeatedly underscores the apparent inconsistency of some of Newman's replies to disparate queries and challenges.