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Vatican spokesman dismisses protests, lauds Cardinal Newman as exemplar of British Christianity

September 13, 2010

In a preview of Pope Benedict’s upcoming apostolic journey to the United Kingdom, the director of the Holy See Press Office dismissed widely publicized protests and upheld Cardinal John Henry Newman, whom the Pontiff will beatify, as an exemplar of the synthesis between Christianity and the British spirit.

“The expectation and interest of British society is also growing, well beyond some noisy, but still marginal, protests of dissent,” Father Federico Lombardi wrote in his weekly editorial. “This confirms the perception that indeed the great moral and religious authority of the Pope will be able to offer an important specific, clear, positive and constructive contribution to meeting the challenges of today’s world.”

“But only in the beatification of Cardinal Newman will the message of this visit achieve its full meaning,” he added. This Englishman, whom the Pope has called ‘truly great,’ rich in ‘gentle wisdom’ and an example of ‘integrity and sanctity of life,’ who with his writings and his works is a source of inspiration for the Church and society in many parts of the world, embodies in the most convincing way the fascinating fruit of the profound synthesis between the Christian faith and the British spirit and its permanent fecundity for the world of today and tomorrow.”


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