Birmingham, England, Sep 19, 2010 / 03:56 am
The Holy Father has declared that John Henry Cardinal Newman will "henceforth be invoked as Blessed." Despite inclement weather, tens of thousands of faithful attended to celebrate the life of Newman, revered for his intellectual contributions to Christianity.
Cool weather and sporadic sprinkles of rain were no obstacle to the pilgrims in attendance for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham's Cofton Park on Sunday. Multi-colored ponchos and umbrellas peppered the vast 55,000 person crowd who cheered for the Pope upon his arrival and joined in with a massive choir to warm up the atmosphere.
Beginning the rite, the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, made the official request of the Pope "that the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman be beatified." A short biography was then read by the vice postulator for the Cause for the Canonization of Cardinal Newman, Fr. Richard Duffield
Fr. Duffield, also provost of Newman's Birmingham Oratory, read the brief description of the life of the 19th century celebrated Catholic convert from the Anglican Church. He was remembered as a prominent figure in the Church of England, a preacher, theologian and leader of the Oxford movement as an Anglican in the first half of his life.