Oriel fellow on the way to being canonised

first_imgA former student of Trinity Collegeand Fellow of Oriel, John Henry Newman, is heading towards canonization after aBoston deacon claimed that prayers to the Oxford theologian curedhim of a spinal disorder.Newman was a key member of the OxfordMovement, also known as Tractarianism, which was a controversial Anglican highchurch movement active in the 1830s. He was made vicar of the University Churchof St Mary the Virgin on High Street in 1828. Newman shocked the Victorian Anglicanchurch by his conversion to Catholicism in 1845, and founded the EnglishOratory in Birminghamin 1848. Newman’s beatification cause, thefirst step towards becoming a saint, was opened in 1958. He can already bedescribed as the Venerable John Henry Newman, but canon law requires a miracleto be performed by the individual before they can be considered a candidate forsainthood.Until the miracle described bythe Bostondeacon, who cannot be named, no miracles had previously been performed at Newman’sintercession. “I had to tell [Pope John Paul II] that the English are not verygood at miracles,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said in an article in TheTimes. “It’s not that we are not pious, but the English tend to think of God asa gentleman who should not be bullied.”  The current head of the Catholic Church,Pope Benedict XVI, is said to have admired Newman since his days as a student.In a letter to TrinityCollege, where Newman wasthe first Honorary Fellow, he praised the Cardinal’s “disciplined commitment tothe pursuit of religious truth”. Father Robert Byrne, Provost ofthe Oxford Oratory which was founded by former members of Newman’s Birmingham oratory, said “Newman has long been associatedwith Oxford andso we are absolutely  delighted with thenews.” If canonised, Newman will be the firstEnglish saint since the Reformation. Other Oxfordsaints include St Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford,and St Edmund Campion, a scholar of StJohn’s college martyred at Tyburn in 1581 and canonisedin 1970. Clare Hopkins, archivist of Trinity College said “[The honorary Fellowship] wasan honour that meant a great deal to him, as it was only six years after theStatutes of the University had changed to allow Catholics to be members,something that had been denied to them since the reign of Elizabeth I. Hisvisit to Trinity was his first visit to Oxfordsince his conversion…TrinityCollege remains veryproud of John Henry Newman today.”ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005last_img read more