Going through Newman’s letter to the Duke of Norfolk reminded me of that deplorable address given by Cardinal Cupich this past Febuary 9th at the Von Hügel Institute in St. Edmund College, Cambridge. There, the Cardinal quoted from this very letter to the Duke where Newman says, “Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ” in a way to espouse that Christians may “affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal”. Did you read that? “Affirm the necessity”? And when he says “living at some distance”, no doubt is meant not conforming to God’s law. One is reminded of the 8th book of St. Augustine’s confessions wherein he makes the famous line – “Give me chastity and continency, only not yet!” That is, no doubt, the practical equivalence. Oh yes, I know what he said afterwards: “….affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal, while nevertheless calling a person ‘to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized’ (AL 303)”. Regardless of his citing from Amoris, this is inadequate since two things are being affirmed – (1) the situational “necessity” of contravening God’s law (for a time, at least), and (2) the eventually hoped for ability to graduate oneself to keep God’s law. That certainly would have been news to our Lord who said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’, and not keep My commandments” (Luke 6:46), or even more so to St. John the Apostle who wrote with an additional note, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3). Golly, I can’t think of two verses which anathema the “New Paradigm” more than this.