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 ...
Our priest's homily this morning was the vineyard and the evil tenants who killed the landlord's servants and then his son . . . our bodies, like the vineyard, are just 'on loan from God'. "Ye know not the day nor the hour" - just do your day's work, be as cheerful as you can and trust in God.