Friday, July 03, 2009

Cardinal John Henry Newman to be beatified

About blessed time.

There has been so much excitement abroad about St Paul’s bones that Mary’s Dowry was in need of a bit of a spiritual uplift nearer to home. Until 2007, when Tony Blair crossed the Tiber, the case of the Cardinal had been the most famous conversion from the Church of England to Rome. As Mr Blair continues his delusional quest to change the immutable, there is now a degree of doubt of which conversion was more significant.

Cardinal John Newman, one of the founders of the high church Oxford Movement (known as the Tractarians), converted in 1845 and the Newman Society became his cult. He became ‘Venerable’ in 1991, in recognition of his scholarship and virtuous life. He has now rather cleverly worked a miracle of healing, and, if another ensues, he will be canonised. Significantly, he would be the first non-martyr saint in England since the Reformation.

The Blessed John Henry Newman will now be the subject of the greatest Roman Catholic celebration in the UK since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982. He already has a new tomb in the Birmingham Oratory in expectation of waves of new pilgrims. It is likely that Pope Benedict XVI may choose to preside over the ceremony, though he may prefer to delegate it to Archbishop Vincent Nichols who has taken a close interest in the cause. His Holiness might prefer not to visit England at this time - to be sullied by association with Gordon Brown and New Labour - and instead journey here under the premiership of David Cameron for the inevitable canonisation, which would be a far more elaborate and historically significant affair.

And Cranmer would like to suggest 2012 as a suitable year: Olympic euphoria and the patriotic fervour induced by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee could only be surpassed by the spiritual ecstasy of a papal visit.


Anonymous len said...

2012 is the year determined by many as to be the year the world ends!
Certainly would be a historic event.

3 July 2009 at 13:49  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Over at Harry’s Place, Your Grace is being held up to ridicule for posting Rumpole QC’s potty stuff about Mexican swine flu. The HP post begins:

Cramner [sic] is a blogger who has a (possibly undeserved) reputation for slightly zany conspiracy theories involving catholics.

How did Your Grace acquire a reputation as anti-Catholic conspiracy theorist? In the short time I have been reading Your Grace’s sermons, I have invariably found them to be scrupulously fair to the Roman Church, as this post on Newman’s beatification once again demonstrates.

3 July 2009 at 14:29  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Petram,

You will find the answer in the ensuing thread, where His Grace reads the comments of his supporters.

His Grace is quite used to being an object of ridicule: but their small minds invariably impugn the man, quite incapable of addressing the issues.

3 July 2009 at 14:38  
Blogger Demetrius said...

2012, isn't this the year when an interplanetary alignment is said to have apocalyptic possibilities? But to link Newman to the arrogant and self serving commercial and political enterprise that the modern Olympics now represents is an insult to his faith and all he stands for.

3 July 2009 at 14:40  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

I'm not sure that I could countenance the beatification of Cardinal Newman .The miracles required by the Catholic Church all seemingly occured in
America.Surely English miracles would have been more appropriate for an English saint.Why would Cardinal Newman perform miracles in Massachusettes when Britain's
need is greater?
To my knowledge he crossed the Tiber but not the Atlantic.

3 July 2009 at 14:51  
Anonymous oiznop said...

How does anyone know that this Sullivan guy was actually praying to Newman when he was healed? We've only got his word for it, which seems a bit flimsy. If I pray to His Grace and he heals my swine flu, could the arch-heretic become the Blessed Thomas Cranmer?

I agree with Rudyard - why would the 'most important' Anglican convert perform a miracle in the secular USA when we've got bishops in the legislature and an established church? Doesn't he know there are English people who need healing? And why did he heal some obscure deacon with a vested interest in advancing his own cause? Why didn't he heal a poor child of something more serious? Why doesn't he go for the blockbuster and resurrect Michael Jackson?

3 July 2009 at 15:05  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I firmly believe that Tony Blair deserves to be canonised. Sorry, I meant cannonised. The bigger the cannon, the better...

3 July 2009 at 16:20  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

Blair's new found faith...hmm, I don't quite know what to make of it given his track record as PM. This was the worst time in history for Britain, especially England. We lost control of our borders, health service, housing, education system, and our rights to be British--especially English. We were forced into the EU. Democracy was replaced by a totalitarian state, and crime figures rose dramatically. Then there was the question of cash for honours, thieving, cheating politicians, and the crimes against humanity—the illegal war. I squirm when I watch Blair talk about his faith foundation. But then maybe, I remind myself, he is truly repentant? Or is it a guilt trip?

3 July 2009 at 17:21  
Blogger UKViewer said...

Your Grace,

Your Ecumenical credentials remain unsullied. I find your support for Cardinal Newmans Canonisation to be most patriotic and useful in confirming that the Established Church remains tolerent of others in the Wider Community.

Of course, the RC Church bows to a Foreign Leader, which rather spoils the effect.

Perhaps the CofE could consider his Canonisation itself, getting in ahead of the game, just to make the point that we got to him first.

3 July 2009 at 18:33  
Blogger Fr William said...

Cardinal John Newman converted in 1845 and founded the high church Oxford Movement (known as the Tractarians) … This gives me some slight concern as to whether Your Grace knows what he is talking about. While I acknowledge that the conjunction "and" does not necessarily connote chronological sequence, this sentence would seem to indicate that the Oxford Movement postdated Newman's conversion (and was therefore, presumably, an RC phenomenon?)

Besides, as a Keble man I feel obliged to point out that Newman himself regarded Keble's 1833 Assize sermon on National Apostasy as the start of the Oxford Movement.

3 July 2009 at 18:43  
Anonymous Sandy Jamieson said...

Keeps the Coggers happy. The rest of us don't care

3 July 2009 at 18:47  
Blogger Fr William said...

UKViewer: Alas, since the unpleasantness of the 16th century the CofE has eschewed any formal mechanism for canonisation. (Pace the Society of King Charles the Martyr, that holy if unwise monarch is described, in the now defunct special liturgy for January 30th, as "Blessed", not as "Saint".)

The most recent version of the CofE's Sanctorale does, however, commemorate the late Cardinal on August 11th, the day of his obitus, as "Priest, Tractarian" - rightly claiming him as one of our own, even if in a spirit of ecumenical generosity we are willing to share him with others.

3 July 2009 at 19:01  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Fr William,

His Grace did rather rush this post (he does not usually manage three in a day, but felt this momentous event merited immediate attention, unlike your co-religionist in another place), and agrees that the conjunction 'and' might imply a chronology.

This was not his intention.

Please rest assured that, even as a Cambridge man, His Grace knows what he is talking about, and that Keble is very close to his heart.

He could change the 'and founded' to whatever wording you prefer, if you would be so kind as to offer an alternative.

His Grace would do so, but a bottle of red beckons.

3 July 2009 at 19:29  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Mrs Gnostic - well said! double shotted as well, I trust.

Like Hanc Petram, I cannot understand why Your Grace is considered anti-Catholic. 'Tis a calumny.

Rudyard K - I thought that you would be happy with miracles in America. After all, you have (had) an American wife?

3 July 2009 at 19:30  
Blogger Fr William said...

Your Grace,

Cardinal John Newman, one of the founders of the high church Oxford Movement (known as the Tractarians), converted in 1845 …, perhaps?

And I apologise if my handle has misled Your Grace, but I rejoice to be ecclesiæ Anglicanæ presbyter.

In this weather, something chilled and white seems preferable, but each to his own.

3 July 2009 at 19:47  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Fr William,

His Grace has amended.

He had a chilled white at lunch time, so red seemed more appropriate this evening, it being a little cooler than previous nights.

He is delighted to learn that you know your Ecclesia Anglorum from your Ecclesia Anglicana and your Ecclesia Anglicana from your Ecclesia Angliae.

3 July 2009 at 20:08  
Anonymous not a machine said...

let us hope papal and CofE relations arrive at mutal respect after this , I am quite happy with our current system and the way it serves our land seas and people , which i am sure is proven to be a realiable work of faith.

For once i would i would be much happier if the church realised it is structure and came around to tabkling the endemic athiesism and gaining pew seats , rather than TV and popcorn ones.

we should remeber Oliver Cromwell was a godly man .

3 July 2009 at 20:13  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

He is delighted to learn that you know your Ecclesia Anglorum from your Ecclesia Anglicana and your Ecclesia Anglicana from your Ecclesia Angliae.

Would it be too much of an imposition, Your Grace, to request a brief note on the differences? To a layman who has never seen these terms before, they are intriguing though baffling.

4 July 2009 at 01:22  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

@ ug old catholic

Not all marriages are made in heaven!

4 July 2009 at 05:31  
Anonymous Son of Belial said...

Any chance of a gong for Cardinal Manning while the Pope's about it?

(They rather despised each other, you know.)

4 July 2009 at 08:41  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Petram,

They are concerned with ‘the English Church’, the universal Church in England and the Church of England. There is a degree of historical synonymity, particularly from Anselm and Becket. The term ‘ecclesia Anglicana’, which occurs in Magna Carta, begins to acquire a certain patriotic association over the centuries. Certainly, by the time of the Reformation, the ‘Church of England’ is quite distinct in its nationalism.

4 July 2009 at 09:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Blair convinced the Catholic Church to beatify him before he dies. He could be the first living English Saint.Although he might change nationality as well like
Rupert Murdoch the Papal Knight.

Mr. Blair's idea of conversion is a religious title change.One thing you learn very early on as a Catholic is that a different set of rules apply to those who count,much like the rest of the world really.

The real Christians are at the bottom rung of the hierarchical ladder in both the Anglican and Catholic Church.Both have been let down by their respective religious leaders.Forget the spiritual ecstatic promotional tours. Clarity order and justice need to be restored to these institutions and some strength demonstrated by both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope.

4 July 2009 at 11:11  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Thank you, Your Grace.

4 July 2009 at 11:41  

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