News that Pope Benedict will beatify Cardinal Newman during his visit to Birmingham in September has just been released. At a press conference this morning Archbishop Vincent Nichols pointed out that this will be first Beatification conducted by Pope Benedict. The Archbishop said usually such ceremonies are carried out by the local Church. The fact that Pope has chosen to take part demonstrates the significance of Cardinal Newman in the Church.
The Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, the Very Rev Richard Duffield said in a statement today:
'The Oratorian Fathers and many friends of the English Oratories are delighted by the official announcement that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI will beatify our founder, the Venerable John Henry Newman, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham during his visit to Britain in September. Newman made his home in the Archdiocese for all his adult life, first in Oxford, where he lived as an Anglican and was received into the Catholic Church, and later in Birmingham itself where he founded and worked in the Birmingham Oratory for over forty years.
'The Holy Father's life-long devotion to Newman has made a profound contribution to understanding the depth and significance of our founder's legacy. His decision to beatify Newman in person confers a unique blessing upon the English Oratories and all who have drawn inspiration from Newman's life and work.
'We joyfully look forward to welcoming the Holy Father, as well as the many pilgrims and visitors who will come to the Beatification ceremony and visit Newman's shrine at the Birmingham Oratory.
'We also look forward to the challenging work of preparing for the Beatification in conjunction with Church and civil authorities. We pray that the Beatification will fittingly reflect both Newman's significance for the Universal Church and the honour paid to our Archdiocese and our country by the Holy Father's presence among us.'
Source: Newman Cause/ICN