"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the people who attended the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman
in Burmingham's Cofton Park today.

Burmingham RadioFree Europe - Pope Benedict XVI spent the last day of his four-day visit to Britain celebrating a Mass before some 50,000 people in Birmingham's Cofton Park at a ceremony where the pontiff also beatified a 19th-century Anglican convert.

It was the first beatification for Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal John Henry Newman is considered one of the Catholic Church's leading thinkers. In the 1830s, after an unsuccessful attempt to reform the Anglican Church, Newman turned to Catholicism. He converted to Catholicism in 1845, believing that was the true faith and then ascended through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to become a cardinal.

Newman met the criteria for beatification after a man in the United States who suffered from a debilitating spinal disorder said he had been cured in 2001 after praying to Newman. Last year, Pope Benedict declared this a miracle.

Vatican officials are checking claims of a second miracle connected to Cardinal Newman in Mexico. If confirmed by Vatican officials, the second miracle would make Cardinal Newman eligible to be declared a saint.

'Strong Admiration'

The beatification of Cardinal Newman was the highlight of the day for many.

"The reason I am here today is because I have always had a very strong admiration for Cardinal Newman," said Michael Collinane, originally from Ireland but now a resident of Birmingham. "And anything I have learned about him I have always been impressed by."

For some, like Birmingham resident Marcia McCabe, it was simply enough that the pontiff was in Birmingham.

"It means a lot," she said. "It means I can go home and tell my children how special our faith is. How happy and caring everybody is being. It is just really nice to come and share this with everybody."

That was true also for 92-year-old Birmingham resident Margaret Andrews, who attended today's Mass.

"I think he is simply marvelous. He is my leader. He is the representative of God almighty," Andrews said. "I am a Catholic and I do go frequently. And when I knew that he was going to be as near to home as this, nothing would keep me away."

Catholics make up only about 10 percent of Britain's population, and not all of them were satisfied with the pope's visit. Demonstrations against sexual abuse by some priests of the church were held during the pontiff's trip, which started in Scotland and also took in London. Some people in those areas also rallied against Pope Benedict's stance on homosexuality and abortion.

The start of the pope's trip to Britain was marred after British police announced they had detained six men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack during Benedict's visit. Police later freed all six men without charges.

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