by Shaun Willcock
Bible Saints and Romish “Saints”
John Henry Newman was canonised (“made a saint”) by Francis I, pope of Rome, on 13 October 2019.
The Bible says that all true living Christians are the Lord’s saints (e.g. Acts 9:32,41; Rom. 1:7; 15:25; 1 Cor. 1:2; 14:33; etc.). But according to Rome, the only “saints” are certain dead Papists whom Rome officially pronounces to be so. Papists are permitted to pray to them, seeking their aid and intercession with God, which is heretical as the Lord Jesus Christ alone is the only Mediator between God and men (Jn. 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5). This is the evil and ancient practice of praying to the dead, forbidden in Scripture, for only God can hear and answer prayer (Deut. 18:10-12)! It is nothing but the ancient heathen belief in demigods, but under a “Christian” name. It is rank heathenism with no basis in the Bible.
Newman said of himself that he had “nothing of a saint about me as everyone knows”, and “I have no tendency to be a saint.” He was right that he was no saint in the true biblical sense, for biblically a saint is any true Christian; and as for having no tendency to be a “saint” in the Roman Catholic sense, how ironic, then, that Rome has seen fit to “make” him one!
But Rome will always do whatever suits her plans. And officially pronouncing that the long-dead John Henry Newman, a deceitful man, a liar, Jesuitical at heart, subtle and cunning, is a “saint”, to whom Papists are now able to pray as if he possesses god-like powers to answer prayers, well suits the purposes of Popery for Anglicanism and for the United Kingdom.
The reason the Papacy so badly wanted to canonise Newman was because he did so much to turn Britain Romeward, and the Papacy wants to celebrate that and encourage the further re-Romanisation of Britain. Creating a “saint” out of such a man, who worked to return Britain to Romanism, will greatly promote this Vatican goal.
The Oxford Movement and Newman
Newman was a founder and leading light of the so-called Oxford Movement. This is a large and important subject which needs to be carefully studied and understood by the Lord’s people, for it has had a massive and profound effect on the ecumenical age in which we live. I recommend the classic examination and exposé by Walter Walsh, The Secret History of the Oxford Movement, for a full revelation of this insidious and spiritually deadly movement.
It was a movement of Anglicans who were Anglo-Catholics at heart. Most of them were members of Oxford University. A far better name for the Oxford Movement would be the “Romeward Movement” within Anglicanism, for its purpose was to reverse the Reformation and return the Anglican institution, and England itself, to Rome. “One of Rome’s primary objectives has been the conquest of England. To achieve this it was necessary to destroy the Anglican denomination, the so-called ‘Church of England’. The Jesuits did their work well: the ‘Romeward Movement’ within Anglicanism gained momentum through the 19th century, and into the 20th”. It is also known as Puseyism, after one of its leaders, and as the “Tractarian Movement”, so called because of a series of tracts which were written in support of Anglicanism becoming increasingly pro-Roman Catholic. John Henry Newman was at the centre of it, although by no means was he the only one.
Rome, of course, sees the Oxford Movement very differently. It airily declares that it “aimed to help the Church of England return to its Catholic roots.” This hides the real, sinister purpose behind it.
Newman was an Anglican priest. He stated that the start of the Movement, as far as he was concerned, was 14 July 1833, “where secrecy and duplicity played an important part, and he affirmed that these secret doctrines were not learnt from the Scriptures.”
Newman, possessing great powers of persuasion, convinced Anglican priests of the “High Church” persuasion (i.e. committed to a ritualistic, sacramental, Popish version of Anglicanism) that Roman Catholicism was far superior to Anglicanism. They began to look with longing eyes towards Rome, from which the “Church of England” had separated itself at the Reformation. Newman “managed to persuade Anglican ministers… to look with affection and even reverence on the corrupt Roman system which their predecessors in the Anglican ministry had given their lives to oppose.” This was the start of the Anglican Romeward movement which would continue to gain momentum in the years that followed. It was a thinly disguised “web of deceit and intrigue” and has the stamp of the Jesuit Order all over it.