Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/13

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

his Superiors who appointed him Rector of the English Chaplaincy, or Residence, as it was called, in succession to Father Ashton.

Here Newman formed an intimacy with a wealthy Portuguese gentleman named Don Pedro Coutinho, to whom he made known the contemplated design of establishing the seminary, and acquainted him also with the property which had been bequeathed by Father Ashton for that purpose. Coutinho, who had destined his own property for religious purposes, readily entered into the project and offered to erect at his own expense a regular College for the education of English Secular Priests. Immediately on receiving this offer, Father Newman communicated with his ecclesiastical Superiors in England, who at once nominated him their agent, with full powers to forward and conclude the charitable work. As soon as the main outline of the projected college was settled between Don Pedro and Father Newman, the latter repaired, in August, 1621, to Madrid, for the purpose of obtaining the necessary permission for its erection from Philip IV, who then held the united crowns of Spain and Portugal.

It was the desire and intention both of Newman and Coutinho that the Lisbon College should be placed under the direction of Secular Superiors. To this the Jesuits, who at that time had the superintendance of all the Continental Missionary Colleges, were, perhaps, naturally averse, and they offered strenuous opposition at the Court of Madrid to the College as projected.[1]

Coutinho, however, persisted in his design, and positively declared that if the Jesuit direction was insisted upon, he would altogether abandon the undertaking. Every opposition was eventually overcome, and Father Newman returned to Lisbon. Very soon after, on the application to the Holy See made by the Rev. John Bennett who was agent in Rome of the English ecclesiastical authorities, a Brief, dated September 22, 1622, was

  1. Vid. Dodd, Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv., Appendix 51.