Church of England welcomes canonisation of John Henry Newman

Painting of Cardinal Newman, by Jane Fortescue Seymour, Lady Coleridge

John Henry Newman and other revered figures in the Catholic Church are to be canonised on October 13, the Vatican has announced.

Those being canonised alongside him are Sister Mariam Thresia, founder of Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family; Giuseppina Vannini, founder of the Daughters of Saint Camillus; Dulce Lopes Pontes, of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God; and Margarita Bays, of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi.

The canonisation of Newman follows a decree that was signed by the Pope in February recognising a second miracle in the healing of a pregnant woman who was suffering from "unstoppable internal bleeding".  The healing of a man's spinal disease was credited to Newman as the first miracle. 

To be canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church, two authenticated miracles are required. 

Newman was a prominent Anglican theologian and founder of the Oxford Movement, which aimed at a Catholic revival within the Church of England. He eventually converted to Catholicism and was made a cardinal by Leo XIII. 

He went on to found the Birmingham Oratory, a Catholic religious community, and remained hugely popular up to the time of his death, when thousands lined the city's streets to watch his funeral procession. 

Confirmation of Newman's canonisation was welcomed by the Church of England, who described him as "one of the most influential figures from his era for both Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism".

The Church of England credits him with inspiring a renewal in the understanding of Anglicanism and he is commemorated in the calendar of the Church of England on the date of his death – 11 August.

Together with others like Edward Pusey and John Keble, he laid the foundations with the Church of England for what came to be known as Anglo-Catholicism. 

The Rt Rev Christopher Foster, Bishop of Portsmouth and Co-Chair of the English and Welsh Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee, said: "The canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman is very good news for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and we give thanks with them for this recognition of a holy life formed in both our communions that continues to be an inspiration for us all.

"Both as an Anglican and as a Catholic, his contribution to theology, to education and to the modelling of holiness resonates to this day around the world and across the churches."

A delegation from the Church of England and Anglican Communion will be in attendance at the canonisation in Rome this October.