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Cardinal Newman's beatification confirmed for Birmingham

June 25, 2010

Church officials in England have confirmed that the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman will take place in Birmingham rather than, as originally planned, at Coventry airport.

Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the beatification ceremony, which will be held on September 19, the final day of the Pope’s trip the England. Organizers expect 80,000 people to attend the service in Birmingham’s Cofton Park.

Earlier plans for the papal visit envisioned a beatification ceremony taking place with an outdoor Mass at the airport in Coventry. But with planning for the papal trip dogged by organizational and budgetary problems, the ceremony was shifted to a less ambitious venue. The Mass at Coventry airport would have called for considerable advance planning, including road closings and intense security measures.

Organizers of the papal trip pointed out that with the beatification taking place in Birmingham, Pope Benedict would have the opportunity to visit the Oratory where Cardinal Newman worked.


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