Pope looking forward to Newman beatification
Pope Benedict has said he is looking forward to beatifying Cardinal John Henry Newman in Britain in September.
The Pope told the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Rev Bernard Longley, that he was looking forward “very much” to the ceremony at Cofton Park, Birmingham.
His remarks were made at a Mass held in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome where archbishops from around the world received the pallium.
The pallium is a centuries-old ceremony in which a decorated woollen band symbolising their office is placed over the shoulders.
Peter Jennings, press secretary to Archbishop Longley, said the Pope’s remarks were made shortly after placing the pallium on the archbishop.
“Archbishop Longley said, ‘I am from Birmingham, England, Holy Father, and we look forward to your visit for the beatification of Cardinal Newman’. Pope Benedict smiled and said, ‘Yes, I am looking forward to it very much’,” Peter Jennings said.
Archbishop Longley and Archbishop Peter Smith, the newly appointed Archbishop of Southwark, were present at the ceremony.
The Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman on 19 September at the end of his four-day visit to Britain.
The ceremony will bring the 19th century Catholic convert a step closer to becoming the first non-martyred English saint since before the Reformation.
The Church has defended its decision to change the venue of the ceremony from Coventry Airport to Cofton Park. (Source: PA)