Skip to comments.No body (found) in exhumed (Cardinal John Henry) Newman's grave
Posted on 10/05/2008 3:25:47 PM PDT by NYer
The grave of the 19th Century Cardinal John Henry Newman did not contain his body, the Catholic Church has revealed.
The plot, at the Oratory House, Rednal, near Birmingham, was excavated on Thursday at the Vatican's instruction.
His remains were to have been moved to the Birmingham Oratory, in preparation for Newman's anticipated beatification.
Newman's body may have decomposed, as his coffin was not lead-lined. Its absence will not affect the progress of his cause in Rome, a spokesman said.
In a statement released on Saturday, Peter Jennings from the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory, said: "Brass, wooden and cloth artefacts from Cardinal Newman's coffin were found.
"However there were no remains of the body of John Henry Newman.
"An expectation that Cardinal Newman had been buried in a lead-lined coffin proved to be unfounded.
"In the view of the medical and health professionals in attendance, burial in a wooden coffin in a very damp site makes this kind of total decomposition of the body unsurprising.
"The absence of physical remains in the grave does not affect the progress of Cardinal Newman's cause in Rome."
Newman is in line to become the first non-martyred English saint since before the Reformation.
The step-by-step process for his beatification began at the Birmingham Oratory in the late 1950s.
It continued with Pope John Paul II declaring Newman to be Venerable in January 1991.
However, in order for Newman to be beatified - the next stage in the process towards sainthood - a miracle needs to be credited to him by the Vatican.
It is investigating a claim that Jack Sullivan, a deacon from Boston, Massachusetts, was cured of a serious spinal disease after praying to the cardinal.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
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In a thread posted on this yesterday or Friday, we had a long & interesting discussion. (At least I was interested, since I studied archaeology while I was an undergraduate.)
In much of Northern England, the combination of highly acidic soil and VERY damp ground means that folks just decompose into nothing. When archaeologists are excavating prehistoric burial mounds, you shave off paper-thin layers of soil in likely burial areas, because nothing will be left but what they call "corpse shadows" - slight difference in coloration in the soil where the bones reacted with the soil as they decomposed. It looks pretty much like an X-ray.
Surprised that there was much of the wooden coffin left. Even the metal coffin-plate was in very rough condition.
Porterville, that is so funny.
Repeated because it should give all of us perspective when we begin to feel too important in this life.
So even the bones and teeth go?
I always thought I’d be pulled out of my car and then be manning some light tower somewhere without being able to celebrate Christmas or my birthday..
This always comes to mind when I read about the despots in this world. All the money in the world will not help you when your name is called.
I wondered about that too.
He is in heaven. His friends are there too. He didn’t want to leave his friends behind.
I wish I could find some photos on line like the pics from my old British Archaeology book. Once they've cleared the soil down to burial level, it looks like life-size X-rays of the bodies lying in the positions they were placed at burial, but there's nothing there.
You are so right! :-) There is no U-Haul following the hearse. Bloated egos are left behind; your accomplishments are what accompany you in death.
Wow. Morbid but fascinating. The house of flesh truly is ephemeral.
It'll still turn me up if I'm not mentally prepared for it.
You’ve a very impressive set of credentials. I’ll trust your judgment re The Departed. I suppose it’s a road we all must travel, but not before our time.