17 September 2010
RTÉ to broadcast Pope Benedict presiding at the Beatification Mass of Cardinal Newman live from Birmingham
Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Bishop Philip Boyce, Bishop John McAreavey and Bishop Nöel Treanor are in attendance during the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI to Britain.
- In addition to www.thepapalvisit.org.uk, the official website for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit, log on to www.catholicbishops.ie for a video interview with Cardinal Brady where he discusses the value of the visit of Pope Benedict as pastor to the flock of Catholics in Britain; the beatification of Cardinal Newman; renewal in the Church; role of young people, woman and lay theologians; how the Church is implementing procedures to safeguard children and reaching out to survivors; the promotion of vocations and the importance of parish.
- Archbishop Martin retains the honorary title Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland. Cardinal Newman built the beautiful University Church on Saint Stephen’s Green in Dublin as the site of his Catholic University. See special web on Cardinal Newman hosted by the website of the Archdiocese of Dublin http://www.tinyurl.ie/1ad which offers a history of the University Church, Newman’s University Church in pictures, letters from Cardinal Newman uncovered in the Dublin Diocesan Archives, Newman University Church Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, Dublin events to celebrate the Beatification of John Henry Newman, and a short biography of John Henry Newman.
- On 3 July 2009, Pope Benedict XVI recognised the healing of Deacon Jack Sullivan in 2001 as a miracle resulting from the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman. The miraculous healing from a debilitating spinal condition occurred in Boston in the United States following prayers for Cardinal Newman’s intercession.
- In 1991 Pope John Paul II recognised the heroically virtuous life of Cardinal Newman and granted him the title ‘Venerable’. He will be called ‘the Venerable Servant of God’ until the solemn ceremony at which he is beatified or declared Blessed. The Catholic Church believes that God works miracles through the prayers of people in heaven. For someone to be proclaimed ‘Blessed’, his or her heavenly intercession must be judged responsible for a miracle on earth, which must always be a physical healing. In the case of martyrs, their deaths for the Faith alone suffice for beatification. A panel of doctors has to rule that the healing is scientifically inexplicable, while theologians examine whether it occurred as the result of the intercession of the person whose beatification is being considered. If the doctors and theologians judge the case positively, it is then examined by the Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Holy See. The results of these discussions are communicated to the Pope who alone can declare a healing to be a true miracle. Only when all these stages have been successfully completed does the Pope authenticate the miracle. A second miracle has to be recognised for a person to be canonised, that is declared to be a saint.
- Blessed John Henry Newman (1801 and 1890) and Ireland:
- In 1852 the Irish Bishops invited the Oxford scholar and leader of the Oxford Movement to set up a Catholic University in Dublin in 1852.
- He continued on as rector of the recently opened Oratory in Birmingham. This meant that he had to alternate between Dublin and Birmingham for the next five years. He crossed the Irish Sea 57 times to keep up the work in founding and guiding the fledgling university. Daniel O’Connell had won Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and Newman hoped that the new university would serve Catholics, not only in Ireland but throughout the English speaking world.
- As Rector, he delivered Discourses on the Nature and Scope of University Education. In fact, during May of 1852 he delivered the first five. With some nervousness he took the stage to give the first lecture in what is now the Ambassador Cinema. The lecture was a ringing success. The following day he wrote to one of the priests in Birmingham, expressing appreciation for the response, ‘The very ticket takers in the room followed my arguments and gave an analysis of the Discourse afterwards.’ These and other Addresses were to form The Idea of a University.
- As to the professors of the University, ‘Newman’s policy was to appoint Irishmen whenever possible, but not to hesitate to appoint Englishmen when academic priorities justified it. To exclude English teachers would be self-defeating, as part of Newman’s job was to try and persuade the Irish class that would normally send their sons away for an English education to send them instead to the new Catholic University.’ (Ian Ker, John Henry Newman, London 1990, 4120).
- He made friends with ‘Young Irelanders’ and appointed some of them as professors. He appointed a Professor of Irish. He was deeply gratified when he heard that one of the Irish professors described him at a University dinner as ‘one of the greatest and most enduring benefactors of Ireland.’ (See Ker, 446).
- He travelled much of the country on the newly constructed railways. He found the Irish people to ‘be characterised by a love of kindred so tender and faithful, as to lead them on their compulsory expatriation, to send back from their first earnings in another hemisphere incredible sums, with the purpose of bringing over to it those dear ones whom they have left in the old country. And he finds himself received with that warmth of hospitality which has ever been Ireland’s boast.’ (Historical Sketches, III, 258)
- John Henry Newman resigned as Rector in 1858. The Catholic University was to number among its professors the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and among its students James Joyce who read Newman all his life long for his English prose style. The Catholic University evolved finally into what is now University College Dublin.
Martin Long, Director of Communications 00 353 86 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 00 353 87 310 4444