Pope Benedict XVI has said that he is looking forward to beatifying the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman – the best-known English churchman of the 19th century, during his historic four-day State Visit to Britain.
Pope Benedict told Archbishop Bernard Longley that he was looking forward “very much” to the ceremony at Cofton Park, Birmingham on Sunday 19 September.
After Pope Benedict had placed the Pallium over the shoulders of Archbishop Bernard Longley and exchanged the sign of peace with him, the new Metropolitan said: “I am from Birmingham, England, Holy Father, and we look forward to your visit for the Beatification of Cardinal Newman.”
Pope Benedict smiled and said: “Yes, I am looking forward to it very much.”
The Holy Father was speaking to the Archbishop of Birmingham when he received the Pallium during Mass which was celebrated in a packed St Peter Basilica in Rome on the Feast of St Peter and St Paul on Tuesday, 29 June.
After his homily and before the creed Pope Benedict spoke directly to the 38 new Metropolitans. The Pope said: “And now I address you, dear Brothers in the Episcopate, who will shortly receive the Pallium from my hands. It was woven from the wool of lambs which the Pope blesses on the Feast of St Agnes (21 January). In this way it also recalls the lambs and sheep of Christ which the Risen Lord entrusted to Peter with the task of tending them.”
Pope Benedict continued: “The Pallium recalls the flock of Jesus Christ which you, dear Brothers, must tend in communion with Peter. It reminds us of Christ himself, who, as the Good Shepherd, took the lost sheep, humanity, on his shoulders to bring it home…”
The Archbishops came from countries throughout the world including: Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, the USA, and Vietnam to receive the Pallium.
Archbishop Peter Smith, the newly-appointed Archbishop of Southwark, also received his Pallium during the memorable two-hour ceremony.
Archbishop Bernard Longley and Archbishop Peter Smith pictured in the garden at the Venerable English College in Rome after the Pallium Mass in St Peter Basilica on 29 June, the Feast of St Peter and & St Paul, with L to R: Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Rector; Lord Nicholas Windsor; and Bishop Alan Hopes, an Auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
© Peter Jennings