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September 17 2010 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Welcome to Britain, Holy Father
Pope Benedict XVI was due to arrive in Scotland yesterday. His four-day trip ends on Sunday, when he will fly back to Rome after beatifying Cardinal Newman in Cofton Park, Birmingham
AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito
BY ANNA ARCO AND SIMON CALDWELL
POPE BENEDICT XVI was due to arrive in Scotland yesterday for the first leg of his historic state visit to Britain.
Just days before leaving the Vatican Pope Benedict XVI sent his “heartfelt greetings” to the British people in which he praised the work that had been done to make the events planned during his visit “truly joyful”.
The Holy Father said: “I am aware that a vast amount of work has gone into the preparations for the visit, not only by the Catholic community but by the Government, the local authorities in Scotland, London and Birmingham, the communications media and the security services, and I want to say how much I appreciate the efforts that have been made to ensure that the various events planned will be truly joyful celebrations.
“Above all I thank the countless people who have been praying for the success of the visit and for a great outpouring of God’s grace upon the Church and the people of your nation.”
Benedict XVI said that Cardinal John
Henry Newman, who he is due to beatify during the Mass at Cofton Park on Sunday, was a “truly great Englishman” who had made his mark both in Britain and in the world.
He said that Cardinal Newman “lived an exemplary priestly life and through his extensive writings made a lasting contribution to Church and society both in his native land and in many other parts of the world”. The Pope said he hoped that “more and more people will benefit from his gentle wisdom and be inspired by his example of integrity and holiness of life”.
Ahead of the visit the Pope said that he looked forward to meeting “representatives of the many different religious and cultural traditions that make up the British population, as well as civil and political leaders”. He also thanked the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury and said he looked forward to meeting them. “While I regret that there are many places and people I shall not have the opportunity to visit, I want you to know that you are all remembered in my prayers,” he said. “God bless the people of the United Kingdom!”
Pope Benedict was due to take part in a series of events at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, earlier today which included a meeting with religious leaders and people of faith of all descriptions.
Pope Benedict was due to meet the
Queen upon his arrival in Scotland on Thursday.
On Saturday the Pope is scheduled to meet David Cameron, who this week issued a warm welcome to the Pope and called on the British people to recognise the positive message he offered.
He said the papal visit was a “great honour” for Britain, adding: “These will be a very special four days not just for our six million Catholics but for many people of faith across Britain, and millions more watching around the world.”
Continued on Page 2
Church investigates claims of second Cardinal Newman miracle
BY SIMON CALDWELL
A SEVERELY deformed baby was born in a perfectly normal condition after the child’s mother prayed to Cardinal John Henry Newman for a miracle, it has been claimed.
The Vatican is investigating the inexplicable healing as the possible supernatural sign that could lead to the canonisation of the Victorian convert.
The Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman in Cofton Park, Birmingham, on Sunday following the healing of American deacon Jack Sullivan from a crippling spinal condition in 2001. A second miracle is needed to make him a saint.
Andrea Ambrosi, the Vatican lawyer in charge of Cardinal Newman’s Cause for canonisation, said the baby’s healing “could be the miracle for his canonisation”.
Former Tory MPAnn Widdecombe, a Catholic convert, learned of the healing while researching Newman – Saint or Sinner?, a programme due to be broadcast on BBC Two at 6.45pm tomorrow. She said pre-natal scans showed that the unborn baby was “severely deformed” and that doctors were convinced they could do nothing to help. “The child was born perfect following the mother praying to Newman and scientists can’t explain it,” said Miss Widdecombe.
Fr Richard Duffield, provost of the Birmingham Oratory and actor of the Cause, confirmed that “an investigative tribunal into a further miracle ... is about to open in the Archdiocese of Mexico City”. “The reported miracle took place after the formal announcement of Newman’s beatification,” he said. “This means that if it is found to be genuine it would be eligible for consideration as the second miracle necessary for Newman’s canonisation.” Witness statements about the miracle are expected to be ready by 2011.
Comment: Page 16
Archbishop bans pop songs at funerals
Ann Widdecombe in quest for glory
BY TOM BROOKS-POLLOCK
CATHOLICS in south-eastern Australia will no longer be able to sing football chants or pop songs at funerals after the Archbishop of Melbourne banned the practice.
An edict from Archbishop Dennis Hart, sent to over 200 parishes in the Melbourne area, said that although the “wishes of the deceased, family and friends should be taken into account” secular celebrations were best conducted before or after the funeral.
Under the heading of music, Archbishop Hart’s guidelines said: “Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs, football club songs.”
It added that “nursery rhymes and sentimental secular songs” should not be sung at children’s funerals, as they were “inappropriate because these may intensify grief”.
Pastor Iuventus: Page 21
BY TOM BROOKS POLLOCK
THE FORMER Conservative politician Ann Widdecombe began her quest for glory on the BBC’s flagship game show Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday night.
Miss Widdecombe, a Catholic convert, is one of 14 celebrities being put through their paces in dance disciplines such as the waltz, rumba and tango. One will be eliminated every week until the winner is decided in the Grand Final, the week before Christmas.
The diminutive former MP for Maidstone is considered an outsider for the crown,
Ladbrokes making her an 80/1 shot alongside the magician Paul Daniels. Miss Wid-
decombe’s partner will be dance champion Anton du Beke, who is nearly two feet taller than her and has never won the competition.
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