In this contribution, the author investigates the often heard claim that John Henry Newman influenced the teachings of Vatican II. The focus lies on the conciliar opening toward ecumenical dialogue, and the way in which Newman’s ideas have been received by an intermediary generation of theologians, who in turn brought them to the conciliar hall. In particular, this article illustrates how Newman’s legacy was received in French-speaking European milieus of the first half of the twentieth century. In order to do so, the author studies the way in which Louis Bouyer, Yves Congar and Johannes Willebrands shared a common interest in Newman’s theological heritage, and how the presence of all three of these theologians in the Catholic Conference on Ecumenical Questions served as a gateway to Vatican II’s ecumenical turn.
- Church History