Portal Home Page Provincial News Home Email this Page Printable Version RSS Feed

  Other Articles from THIS province
  News by Regions
and Provinces
Online News distributed by the
Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
THE POPE IN ENGLAND ,BIRMINGHAM ..At the very start of his homily at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman,,an Anglican converted to Roman Catholicism , the Pope struck a chord that resonated among his audience. He noted that this is Battle of Britain Sunday and recalled the bombing of Coventry in November 1940.
September 19, 2010

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] Papal visit: Pope Benedict in Birmingham

* Latest news
* Live coverage
* In pictures


The Pope declared Cardinal Newman ''blessed'' before thousands of worshippers

Thousands of people have witnessed the Pope's beatification of 19th Century theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman, as his UK state visit draws to a close.

The pontiff told more than 50,000 people at a Mass in Birmingham's Cofton Park that they were celebrating the cardinal's "outstanding holiness".

The beatification brings the cardinal one step closer to becoming a saint.

The Pope has now arrived at St Mary's college, Oscott, to meet men training for the priesthood.

He is also due to meet PM David Cameron, who is expected to praise the pontiff for making people "sit up and think".
Continue reading the main story
Papal Visit

* Live: Final day of Pope's visit
* Pope Benedict beatifies Cardinal
* Pope's 'sorrow' for abuse victims
* Thousands in protest against Pope

A loud cheer followed the beatification, which was the first carried out by Pope Benedict XVI himself. The Pope paid tribute to Cardinal Newman's insights into the vital place of "religion in civilised society".

In his homily, the pontiff marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by paying tribute to the those who sacrificed their lives resisting the "evil ideology" of the Nazi regime.

The German-born Pope, who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a 14-year-old schoolboy, told listeners: "For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology."
Continue reading the main story
image of Mike Wooldridge Mike Wooldridge BBC News, World affairs correspondent

When Deacon Jack Sullivan prayed in 2001 for release from the agonising pain of a spinal condition, he did so in the name of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

The resulting rapid improvement he experienced, enabling him to continue towards ordination, was eventually deemed by the church to be the miracle leading to today's beatification of the theologian.

The fact that it was carried out by the Pope himself, rather than by a lower figure in the Catholic heirachy, underlines the significance of this step.

Cardinal Newman was renowned for his intellectual gifts, but they were rooted in his pastoral experience - first as an Anglican clergyman and later a Catholic priest who was given the mission by the Pope to found Oratories in England.

His conversion was welcomed enthusiastically by Catholics and, initially at least, seen by Protestants as an act of betrayal.

But a definining legacy of Cardinal Newman is the value he attached to conscience, honesty and truth.

And, paying tribute to Cardinal Newman, the pontiff said the beatification was an "auspicious" day.

"His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance to Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world," he said.

The Pope said it was fitting that thousands had gathered to celebrate the "outstanding holiness or this much loved father of souls".

Following the beatification Cardinal Newman will henceforth be known as the Blessed John Henry Newman.

BBC correspondent James Robbins said it sets the theologian firmly on the road to sainthood.

Rain fell steadily on the thousands of pilgrims at Cofton Park who gathered for the open Mass.

Many armed with folding chairs and dressed in waterproofs trudged past souvenir scarf and flag sellers to get into the park in advance of the Mass.

Anglican convert Nina Watson, 52, from Streatham, south London said she had left home in the early hours to embark on a coach trip to Birmingham.

She said the Pope had been "wonderful and inspiring" during his UK visit.
Continue reading the main story
Beatification explained

To be beatified - or made blessed, the penultimate step on the path to full sainthood - an individual's worthiness must be proven by the attribution of a miracle following a petition by someone in need.

* Cardinal Newman's 'miracle cure'
* Pilgrims brave rain to see Pope
* What has the Pope's visit achieved?
* In pictures: Papal visit - Day 4

"He is so clear, and he talks about love and finding God. He has been absolutely wonderful," she said.

Frances McHugh, 67, a retired secretary from Shirley, Birmingham, and a parishioner at Our Lady of the Wayside Church described the pontiff as "a very holy man", adding that "it is lovely to see him in this country".

"We have not had to go to see him in Rome, he has come to see us," she said.

During the trip, Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out about what he called the "marginalisation" of Christianity and the march of "aggressive secularism".

Thousands marched in London on Saturday to protest against the Pope's visit.

Campaign group Protest the Pope estimated around 20,000 people took part; however, police were unable to confirm this figure.

Speaking in Birmingham later on Sunday, Mr Cameron will tell the Pope: "Faith is part of the fabric of our country.

"It always has been and it always will be."

Mr Cameron will say that people did not have to share a faith to see the value of the "searching questions" that the Pope had posed about "society and how we treat ourselves and each other".

"You have really challenged the whole country to sit up and think, and that can only be a good thing," he will say.
Continue reading the main story
image of David Willey David Willey BBC News, Rome

What has struck seasoned observers of papal tours is that people everywhere have responded spontaneously to the Pope's evident humility and his ability, even when talking serious theology, to communicate simple moral concepts in plain language.

At the very start of his homily at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Pope struck a chord that resonated among his audience. He noted that this is Battle of Britain Sunday and recalled the bombing of Coventry in November 1940.

Seventy years later, the Pope said, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake.

As David Cameron plans to say later, as he bids farewell to the Pope, the 83-year-old pontiff has caused the whole country to sit up and think.

"Because I believe we can all share in your message of working for the common good... and that we all have a social obligation to each other, to our families and our communities."

The Pope will also visit the Catholic Seminary of Oscott, which struggles to find sufficient recruits to train as future priests.

And he will end his state visit with an address to the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, when he is expected to refer again to the abuse of children - an issue which has run through his trip to Britain.

Speaking on Saturday during a Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Pope Benedict expressed his "deep sorrow" for the "unspeakable crimes" of child abuse within the Catholic Church.

The pontiff also held a private 30-minute meeting at the Vatican ambassador's home in Wimbledon with five abuse survivors, three of whom were from Yorkshire, one from London and another from Scotland.

Meanwhile, six men who were being held in connection with an alleged threat to the Pope's visit were released without charge.