Papal endorsement for Birmingham?

News sources have reported that Birmingham is amongst locations likely to feature in the newly announced Papal visit to the UK in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI; Pope 'to visit Birmingham' in 2010, Pope to visit UK in 2010 -- but when?, Pope Benedict agrees to visit UK next year in first papal visit since 1982. Amongst locations being proposed for the visit include London, Birmingham, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Armagh, in Northern Ireland.

The visit is expected to take place in the Autumn, months after the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman who is a hero of the Pope. Cardinal Newman was a 19th Century Anglican convert to Catholicism and he is expected to be made the first British saint in almost 40 years.

Government officials travelling with Mr Brown on his visit to the UN in New York said that may have helped persuade the Pope to come to Britain. Cardinal Newman, one of the leading theologians of the last 200 years, is said to be a hero of Benedict XVI.Read more:

The beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman is likely to take place in Birmingham next year and the Pope who has had a lifelong interest in Cardinal Newman may wish to visit somewhere connected to his life. Archibishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, previously Archibishop of Birmingham (Birmingham Archbishop to lead England Catholic flock), has been intimately involved with accelerating the Newman beatification process.

This visit is likely to include a beatification ceremony in Birmingham, the city which became Newman's home, as well, possibly, as a major public lecture in Oxford in which Pope Benedict will set out his faith and reason stall -- using Cardinal Newman as the great exemplar.

The Vatican is expected to confirm the details in the next few days.


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