Newman’s beatification; the catalyst for a papal visit to the UK?
After the rumours, non-committal non-denials, and speculation that have been circulating re the Pope’s visit to Great Britain, Fr Lombardi just stopped short of an official confirmation yesterday, when he briefed the press at the end of the Holy Father’s trip to the Czech Republic.
NCR’s John Allen Jr has the dirt, as always:
News broke earlier this week of a possible outing to Great Britain and Ireland, which could include a beatification ceremony for Newman, the 19th century intellectual and convert to Catholicism who has long been slightly controversial for his ambivalence about the doctrine of papal infallibility.
Nonetheless, Pope Benedict XVI has frequently praised Newman’s life and work, seeing in him a kindred intellectual spirit.
Lombardi said this evening that a trip to the U.K. is a “good hypothesis,” that it would likely take place in September (rather than January as some news outlets had suggested), and that “it would be an obvious occasion” to beatify Newman.
When a reporter noted that Benedict XVI has previously expressed a preference to allow beatifications to be carried out by the local church rather than by the pope, Lombardi responded: “We have a year to figure that out.”