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Deacon healed, clears way for Newman beatification

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree recognizing as miraculous the healing of a U.S. deacon, which clears the way for the beatification of British Cardinal John Henry Newman.

While the Vatican announced July 3 that the decree had been signed, it did not provide information about when Cardinal Newman would be beatified or where the ceremony would be held.

The decree recognized as a miracle the healing in 2001 of Deacon John Sullivan of Marshfield, Mass. , who had a debilitating back injury.

Deacon Sullivan had prayed for the intercession of Cardinal Newman, who founded the Oxford movement within the Church of England before becoming a Roman Catholic in 1845. He is the founder of the Oratories of St. Philip Neri.

A press statement from the England's Birmingham Oratory, founded by the cardinal, quoted Deacon Sullivan as saying, "Upon hearing of the recent developments in Rome regarding Cardinal Newman's cause for beatification, I was left with an intense sense of gratitude and thanksgiving.

"I have dedicated my vocation in praise of Cardinal Newman, who even now directs all my efforts," the deacon said in the July 3 statement.

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The press statement said the date and place of beatification had not been decided, but encouraged supporters of Cardinal Newman's cause to make donations to help pay for the ceremony.

The pope signed the decree regarding Cardinal Newman's cause along with 11 other decrees, including the recognition of the miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Juana Josefa Cipitria Barriola of Spain. The nun, who died in 1912, is the founder of the Daughters of Jesus.

Two other decrees recognized the miracles needed for the beatification of Italian Carmelite Father Francesco Paoli, who died in Rome in 1720, and of Sister Soultaneh Maria Ghattas, co-founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem. She died near Jerusalem in 1927.

Four decrees declared eight individuals martyrs, which means they can be beatified without the need of a miracle attributed to their intercession. The decrees involved six priests killed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War; German Father Georg Hafner, who was killed by the Nazis in 1942 in the Dachau prison camp; and Auxiliary Bishop Zoltan Meszlenyi of Esztergom, Hungary, killed by the communists in 1951.

Other decrees declared that four candidates for sainthood heroically lived the Christian virtues, a recognition marking the initial stage in their causes.

One was another Dachau victim, Marianhill Missionary Father Engelmar Unzeitig, who died in the camp in 1945.

The other three involve women: Sister Anna Maria Janer Anglarill, the Spanish founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Urgell; Sister Clotilde Micheli, the Italian founder of the Sisters of the Angels; and Teresa Manganiello, an Italian laywoman who died in 1876 at the age of 27.

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Contributing to this story was Simon Caldwell in London.

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