It was announced this morning [16 March 2010] by the Holy See that Pope Benedict XVI will beatify John Henry Newman on 19th September 2010, during his visit to the U.K., in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The Cause of Newman’s Canonisation has released the following statement:
The 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.
Very Rev. Richard Duffield
Provost of the Birmingham Oratory
and Actor of the Cause of John Henry Newman
* * *
Initially an academic and a priest in the Church of England, Newman joined the very influential Oxford Movement and eventually, in 1845, was converted to Catholicism, Pope Leo XIII creating him cardinal in 1879 by an extraordinary move for someone who was only a priest.
* * *
You may read HERE the text of the sermon of the pope on this event.