John Henry Newman had some very Romantic ideas about religion and the demystification of it. In Liberalism, he says “No one can belief what he does not understand. Therefore, e.g., there are no mysteries in true religion”. His beliefs on the church and how it should change also brought up some controversy, “Christianity is necessarily modified by the growth of civilization, and the exigencies of times.” His statement on Christianity seems to contradict his beliefs about bringing back more traditional Catholic traditions, but overall the statement’s meaning was that the current church was not meeting the needs of a new, urbanized society.
He was convinced that the Roman Catholic Church had held onto much original Christian doctrine that the Protestants had abandoned; but he still believed that Rome had added doctrines and practices that could not be reconciled with the Gospel. The importance placed on the saints the Pope were still obstacles to him when he tried to embrace their beliefs. The Anglican hierarchy’s disapproval of the Oxford Movement's teachings made many of Newman’s followers leave for Rome. By the early 1840’s, Newman was trying to keep Anglicans from becoming Catholics, but it might have been his own tracts that led them to do so.
Newman broke off the Tracts for the Times after number 90. ‘Tract 90’ was by far the most controversial of the tracts for both sides of the church issue. He examined the Thirty-nine Articles and attempted to show that they were not against the Roman Catholic Church but only against exaggerations of what the church actually did. Newman had begun to doubt the strength of the Anglicans, because he started to see a resemblance between Anglicanism practices and heresies of the early Church.
In Apologia pro Vita Sua, Newman wrote of the controversy raised by ‘Tract 90’, and the effect it had on the Anglican church and the movement as a whole:
I saw indeed clearly that my place in the Movement was lost; public confidence was at an end; my occupation was gone. It was simply an impossibility that I could say any thing henceforth to good effect, when I had been posted up by the marshal on the buttery-hatch of every College of my University, after the manner of discommoned pastry-cooks, and when in every part of the country and every class of society, through every organ and opportunity of opinion, in newspapers, in periodicals, at meetings, in pulpits, at dinner-tables, in coffee-rooms, in railway carriages, I was denounced as a traitor who had laid his train and was detected in the very act of firing it against the time-honoured Establishment.
Newman became a national hero for Catholics when he published his Apologia, in response to statements made against him in a national magazine. The honesty of the document, which describes the source of his religious beliefs, but him back into favor in the public eye. John Henry Newman was made a Cardinal in 1879. Changes were taking place in the churches of England by that time, due to the following that Newman had amassed.