Skip to comments.Cardinal Newman Exhumation Fails to Produce Body
Posted on 10/12/2008 8:42:41 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
LONDON (The Catholic Herald) - Plans to rebury Cardinal John Henry Newman have been thrown into disarray after it was discovered that his body has disintegrated in its grave. Undertakers attempted to exhume the body of the Victorian cardinal on Thursday last week in preparation for his likely beatification later in the year.Officials were hoping to transfer his remains from a small rural cemetery in Rednal, Worcestershire, to a marble sarcophagus in the Birmingham Oratory, Edgbaston, where he could be better venerated by pilgrims.
Plans had been announced for the cardinal to lie in state for three days in the expectation that thousands of people would come to pray before his coffin.Specialists were also planning to fly into Britain from Rome and Milan to take parts of the cardinal's body back to the Vatican to be made holy relics. But when undertakers opened his grave they found there was nothing in it.
Peter Jennings, the spokesman for the Birmingham archdiocese, said that both the cardinal's body and his wooden coffin had rotted away, with not even any bones or teeth remaining.All that was left were the brass handles of the coffin, attached to a few pieces of wood, and a few tassels from the cardinal's hat.Also recovered was a brass plate which reads: "Eminentissimus et Reverendissimus Joannes Henricus Newman Cardinalis Diaconus S Georgii in Velabro Obiit Die XI August. MDCCCXC RIP", which in English means: '"The Most Eminent and Most Reverend John Henry Newman Cardinal Deacon of St George in Velabro Died 11 August 1890 RIP."
Mr Jennings 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.
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Qualification for Sainthood?
Seems rather strange there were no bones.
Equally odd that teeth would disintegrate, but not cloth tassels? There would at least be dust from the bones. That’s even left after cremation.
Saint or no saint, digging up (and displaying) long dead bodies has always seemed just too creepy.
might make a case that he went to heaven intact? It has been done before...right?
Really. OF course, it doesn’t stop the Dems from doing it right now as election prep. .
If he’d lived in the US, Newman would have been voting democrat from his internment until now. SNORFL
(snapping fingers!) Now I know who to dress up as for halloween! A resurrected mummified Bishop,...now where did I put that mitre....
Does that mean he failed the Catholic Saint test?
In a word, no.
Perhaps if they had a writ?
Maybe God didn’t want a bunch of people venerating a box of bones.
He is a jealous God after all.
"And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life, and stood upon his feet." 4 Kings 13:21
You on the other hand ...
>> Now I know who to dress up as for halloween! A resurrected mummified Bishop,...now where did I put that mitre.... <<
Wow. You need to get out of the country once in a while. Outside of Protestant England and America, that’s the sort of thing MOST people dress up for at Hallowe’en.
4 Kings = 2 Kings? (1,2 Kings = 1,2 Samuel?)
>> Does that mean he failed the Catholic Saint test? <<
No, the discovery of incorruptability is a good way to jump-start a canonization process, but is certainly unnecessary.
He wanted to be buried with his close friend, didn’t he? Has anyone checked out the other grave to see if his wishes were carried out?
That’s too bad. The tassels could maybe be used as second class relics though.