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Cardinal Newman's beatification to take place at Birmingham?

June 24, 2010

Plans for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman have been scaled back, to take place at location that will accommodate a smaller congregation, English Catholic journalists report.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to preside at the beatification ceremony during his September visit to Great Britain. The bishops’ conference of England and Wales has not yet announced final plans for the papal visit. But Ann Arco of the Catholic Herald reports that the ceremony, originally envisioned for the Coventry airport, will instead be held at Cofton Park in the city of Birmingham. Whereas an outdoor Mass at the airport would have allowed for a congregation of 200,000, the Cofton Park location will fit about 80,000.

During his stay the Pope will also visit the Birmingham Oratory and the rooms where Cardinal Newman lived and worked.

Plans for the beatification ceremony have been in flux, with planning for the papal visit marred by signs of disorganization as well as financial pressure. The switch of the beatification site from Coventry to Birmingham may ease budget problems for the Pope’s trip.


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