Skip to comments.Cardinal Newman 'to become saint very soon'
Posted on 01/09/2008 1:39:12 PM PST by NYer
Cardinal Newman, the Anglican cleric whose conversion to Roman Catholicism scandalised Victorian Britain, appeared closer to sainthood today after his case was backed by a senior Vatican official.
The head of the Vatican department that examines the causes of saints said that he would like the Cardinal's beatification - the step before canonisation - to take place very soon.
His comments suggest that the Vatican is close to attributing a miracle to Cardinal Newman, which means that the 19th century cleric could be beatified before the end of the year.
The controversial theologian and writer of the hymn Lead Kindly Light, who converted in 1845 and died in 1890, would then be declared "Blessed" and be one step from canonisation, which would require a second miracle.
Such a development would delight English Catholics, especially as it follows the high profile conversion last month of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister.
It could also prove a spur to traditionalist Anglicans who are expected to "cross the Tiber" if the Church of England approves the consecration of women as bishops.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, told L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, that Cardinal Newman was "an emblematic figure of conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism."
He added: "Personally, I hope that such a beatification may occur within a short time because it could be very important at this moment for the path of ecumenism".
The cause of the 19th century priest has been given priority treatment since it was submitted to Rome a year ago, partly because Pope Benedict XVI is personally interested in his writings.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints normally takes years, even decades, to sift such cases. But medical experts are already scrutinising evidence that an American was inexplicably cured of a crippling spinal condition after praying to John Henry Newman.
Although a file on the Cardinal's beatification was first opened in 1958, no miracles had, until recently, been attributed to him. The breakthrough came after officials in the Archdiocese of Boston concluded that a deacon from Massachusetts had been cured of his back condition in 2001 after praying for the intercession of the Cardinal.
A tribunal was set up by in June 2005 after Deacon Jack Sullivan, who was "bent double" by the condition, was able to "walk about straight" again.
Peter Jennings, press secretary to the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory for the Newman Cause, said: "We look forward to the day when Cardinal Newman, the best-known English Churchman of the 19th century, is beatified."
Cardinal Saraiva Martins also revealed the beatification, latter this year, of the parents of St, Therese of Lisieux, Louis Martin and Azelia Guérin. The heroic virtues of the parents of St. Therese, who is now one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church and a Doctor of the Church, were proclaimed on March 26, 1944.
Kingsley doesn't come off well. This is one of the things that started me on the road to conversion.
It is well worth reading.
As a young man at Oxford.
About the time of his conversion.
Upon his elevation to Cardinal in 1879.
A few years before his death at the age of 89.
Thank you for posting the pictures. I have always enjoyed the one from his elevation to Cardinal. Most inspiring!
For the record, Cardinal Newman and Saint Jerome (Jerry) were NOT contemporaries.
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