Pope Benedict to beatify John Henry Newman in England

Here is some news in the best Catholic weekly in the UK, The Catholic Herald:

Pope Benedict plans to beatify Newman during visit to Britain
By Simon Caldwell

27 November 2009

The Pope is to waive his own rules so he can preside in person over the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman during a papal visit to Britain next year, according to sources close to the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI will personally take charge of the ceremony to declare the Victorian convert Blessed when he visits England in early September at the invitation of Gordon Brown.

The Pope has previously insisted that all beatifications are carried out by a Vatican official in the diocese in which the candidate died, which in Newman’s case is Birmingham.

But because the Pope has such a strong devotion to Cardinal Newman and his theological writings he has decided to break his own rules and beatify the cardinal himself.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster refused to either confirm or deny the report: "The details of the Pope’s visit are far from clear," he said. "What is clear is that the Holy Father has a great and long-standing devotion to Cardinal Newman and the beatification of Cardinal Newman is due."

Fr Ian Ker, author of the definitive biography of Cardinal Newman, said: "By breaking his own rules Pope Benedict clearly shows he regards Newman as a completely exceptional case, one of the great theologians of the Catholic Church. Many of the popes have been anxious to canonise Newman. They look to him as a man who welcomed modernisation but in fidelity to Church authority and in continuity with the traditions of the Church."

Pope Benedict announced the beatification in July after Vatican theologians ruled that the inexplicable healing of Jack Sullivan, an American with a severe spinal condition, was a miracle brought about by praying for help to Cardinal Newman.

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  1. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Is there any speculation over whether Newman to become a Doctor of the Church in the future? If that were to happen, I’d hope it would push forward the unification with the Anglicans.

  2. Jack Hughes says:

    Excellent !! as an English Catholic I may even be there in person!

  3. Magpie says:

    Good to see you’re feeling well enough to post Father. Make sure you get the care you need if you feel unwell. I’ll remember you in prayer during the Mass this evening.

  4. Emilio III says:

    Did the Prefect Emeritus of the CDF cease being “a Vatican official” when he was promoted? I thought that on the contrary, he became an official of the diocese of Birmingham (among others), which makes it doubly appropriate he should preside. :-)

    Now, why should the Archbishop of Westminster be Primate? If we can’t have Canterbury, it should be Rochester!

  5. Is it possible that Newman’s beatification was held up so that it could come on the heals of the provision for Anglicans wanting to come into the Church?

  6. al007italia says:

    I don’t know if I’d use the term break, more like bend esp since the Pope is a Vatican official.

  7. Melody says:

    This seems like a good way of reaching out to the new Anglican converts which will have started to settle in by then.

  8. irishgirl says:

    That’s wonderful to hear!

    I’ll have to ask my English priest-friend about it-either by letter or by phone call!

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