Thanks to Fr Z for passing on the news that the beatification of the Venerable John Henry Newman is "imminent" according to Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Apparently also in the pipeline are Louis Martin and Azelia Guérin, the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
In the same interview, to be published this week in L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Martins speaks of a document, soon to be published, which will promote greater caution and more accuracy in the local diocesan part of the process of canonisation. This is to reflect the "new spirit" introduced by Pope Benedict.
Some people speak critically of Pope John Paul's "saint factory". I would share some reservations about the relaxation of the process and it is no surprise to find Pope Benedict tightening it up a little. This seems to be another "theme" of his pontificate; without in any way casting aspersions on his magnificent predecessor, he is gently correcting some developments that were perhaps over enthusiastic. I do think that Pope John Paul was a great Pope: the effect of his preaching on the communist regimes of Eastern Europe is unquestionable in my view, and Evangelium Vitae must be ranked as one of the great encyclicals of the 20th century. But I don't think we will see Pope Benedict kissing the Qu'ran or letting anyone get away with having bare-breasted dancers doing the offertory procession.
Here is the clip from CNA news which broke the story about Newman's forthcoming beatification:
The clip is a short news piece with some pictures of Newman. When I first saw the embed, I thought that somehow there was actually footage of Newman on YouTube. After the amazing Chesterton video, I wondered if there was anything not available somewhere or another and mused on the possibility of someone actually finding some grainy footage of Cicero delivering part of one of his orations against Catiline :-)