John Henry Newman is without a doubt one of the founding Doctors of the Church. The Roman Catholic Church however, would not declare him as such unless he had first been canonised as a saint. This conclusion would come to fruition in 1991, when Pope John Paul II declared Newman to be “Venerable” or a figure to be venerated for the “heroic virtues” that he displayed in his life. This formal papal recognition followed the completion in 1986 of a thorough study of his life and writings conducted by a historical commission established by the diocese in which he lived and worked following his founding of the Birmingham Oratory. The formal recognition by the Pope of Newman as “Venerable” still required divine confirmation of beatification in order for him to reach the next rung in the ladder to sainthood.
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