Newman poised to be ‘saint of friendship’ in today’s polarized church

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Cardinal John Henry Newman, a Catholic convert who was able to bridge the divide with the Anglican Church and was among the most respected theologians of the 19th century, will become a saint on Sunday (Oct. 13), as Catholicism faces new divisions from within.

“Some people say this is a battle for the soul of Newman,” said Jack Valero, the promoter of the English cardinal’s canonization cause and co-founder of Catholic Voices, speaking to reporters on Friday.

“I look at it a different way. Newman has something to say to people who consider themselves very conservative, people who consider themselves very progressive. He has something to say to all these people. He brings them close to God and close to each other,” he said.