On a visit to the Oratory Church where the Venerable John Henry Newman is buried, Sydney Cardinal George Pell said the English cardinal's memory is needed to inspire the "romance of orthodoxy" among today's writers.
The Times Online reports that Cardinal Pell made a short private visit to the Oratory House in Edgbaston, opened by Cardinal Newman in 1852.
Cardinal Pell was shown the shrine of Cardinal Newman's remains in the Oratory Church, visited Newman's Library and celebrated Mass in Latin at the altar in Newman's Room, on March 5.
Fr Paul Chavasse, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory and Postulator of the Newman Cause, showed the Australian visitor Cardinal Newman's galero - the famous red hat once given to new Cardinals by the Pope.
"I was profoundly moved," Cardinal Pell said. "I thought it was deeply significant that Cardinal Newman's desk and chapel were together in the same room. All of his work was very much of a unity and I prayed that a smidgen of his ability to preach the word of God effectively to his contemporaries would pass to me.
"I noticed that there was a crucifix in front of me as I stood at the altar. I always find this a big help to recollection in celebrating Mass. This is the same at every altar where Mass is celebrated but is especially true of the altar where Cardinal Newman celebrated Mass."
Asked about Newman's beatification, Cardinal Pell replied: "I would very much like to see Cardinal John Henry Newman beatified. All of his many admirers would like to see this happen soon."
"Cardinal Newman knew well the two worlds of learning, Catholic and secular. We need his memory and example to inspire many other Catholic writers and preachers today."
"Their task is to explore the opportunities now open to us to explain the Christian message, the romance of orthodoxy, to the many people throughout the world who are uneasy and searching."
Cardinal George Pell was in Oxford (March 4-7) at the invitation of the Newman Society of the University of Oxford, to deliver the inaugural Thomas More Lecture on the subject: "Varieties of Intolerance - Secular and Religious." (March 6).
Cardinal Pell says Mass in Newman's room (Times Online)
Cardinal John Henry Newman (Wikipedia)