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Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN

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Author Topic: Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN  (Read 4066 times)
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2008, 11:34:51 am »

Population and languages

Vatican Museums.Almost all of Vatican City's 821 (July 2007 est.[24]) citizens either live inside the Vatican's walls or serve in the Holy See's diplomatic service in embassies (called "nunciatures"; a papal ambassador is a "nuncio") around the world.

The Vatican citizenry consists almost entirely of two groups: clergy, most of whom work in the service of the Holy See, and a very few as officials of the state; and the Swiss Guard.

Most of the 3,000 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican work force reside outside the Vatican and are citizens of Italy, while a few are citizens of other nations. As a result, all of the City's actual citizens are Catholic. Catholicism is the state religion. All the places of worship inside Vatican City are Catholic.

Vatican City has no set official language.

Unlike the Holy See, which most often uses Latin for the authoritative version of official documents of the Catholic Church, Vatican City uses Italian in its legislation and official communications.[25] Italian is also the everyday language used by most of those who work in the state.

In the Swiss Guard, German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages, German, French or Italian.

Vatican City's official website languages are Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish.

The Holy See's official website uses Portuguese in addition.
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2008, 11:37:31 am »


Citizenship of the Vatican City is granted iure officii, which means it is conferred upon some of those who have been appointed to work in certain capacities at the Vatican, and it is usually revoked upon the termination of their employment.

During the period of employment citizenship may also be extended to a Vatican citizen's spouse (unless the marriage is annulled or dissolved, or if a conjugal separation is decreed) and children (until, if they are capable of working, they turn 25, or in the case of daughters, if they marry)

Terms of citizenship are defined in the Lateran Treaty, and laws concerning the creation of the Vatican state in 1929 sought to restrict the number of people who could be granted Vatican citizenship. The only passports issued by the Vatican are diplomatic passports and service passports.[5]

As of 31 December 2005, there were 558 people with Vatican citizenship, of whom 246 are dual-citizens of other countries (the majority being Italian). The Lateran Treaty provides that in the event
a Vatican citizen has his or her original nationality revoked and also loses Vatican citizenship, he or she will be automatically granted Italian citizenship.[5]

Among the 558 were: [26]

The Pope;

58 cardinals;

293 members of the clergy who serve as diplomatic envoys abroad;

62 lesser-ranking clergy members who work in the Vatican;
101 officers, NCOs, and men of the Papal Swiss Guard; and

43 lay persons.
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« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2008, 11:39:22 am »

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« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2008, 11:43:27 am »


Vatican City culture

The Vatican City is itself of great cultural significance.

Buildings such as St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are home to some of the most famous
art in the world, which includes works by artists such as Botticelli, Bernini, Raphael and Michelangelo.

The Vatican Library and the collections of the Vatican Museums are of the highest historical,
scientific and cultural importance.

In 1984, the Vatican was added by UNESCO to the List of World Heritage Sites; it is the only one
to consist of an entire state. Furthermore, it is the only site to date registered with the UNESCO as
a centre containing monuments in the "International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection" according to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.


As a result of the Vatican's small population, the state has the highest per capita crime rate (numbers of crimes per each resident, excluding visitors) of any nation on earth, more than twenty times higher than that of Italy.[27]

The Chief Prosecutor's 2002 report stated that during that year there had been within Vatican territory 397 civil offenses and 608 penal offenses.[27] Each year, hundreds of tourists fall victim to pickpockets and purse snatchers. Most of the perpetrators are, like the victims, tourists to the Vatican, and are rarely caught; 90% of crimes remain unsolved.[27]

In accordance with Article 22 of the 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, the Italian government, when requested by the Holy See, handles the prosecution and detention of criminal suspects, at the expense of the Vatican.[28]

In 1969, the Vatican state abolished capital punishment, which was envisaged in the legislation it adopted in 1929 on the basis of Italian law, but which it never exercised.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 11:45:09 am »


Postage Stamp Disposing Machine
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« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2008, 11:48:51 am »

Transport in Vatican City

Vatican City has a reasonably well developed transport network considering its size.

As a country that is 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and .85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide,[29] it has a
small transportation system with no airports or highways.

There is one heliport and a standard gauge railway connected to Italy's network at Rome's Saint Peter's station by an 852 metres (932 yd) long spur, only 14.35 metres (16 yd) of which is within Vatican territory. Pope John XXIII was the first Pope to make use of this railway, and Pope John
Paul II used it as well, albeit very rarely.

The railway is mainly used only to transport freight.[30] As the Vatican City has no airports, it is served by the airports that serve the city of Rome, within which the Vatican is located, namely: Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport and to a lesser extent, Ciampino Airport, which both serve
as the departure gateway for the Pope's international visits.[30]


The City is served by an independent, modern telephone system[31] and post office.

The postal system was founded on February 11, 1929, and two days later became operational.
On August 1, the state started to release its own postal stamps, under the authority of the
Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State.[32] The City's postal service is sometimes recognised as "the best in the world"[33] and mail has been noted to its target before the postal service in Rome.[33]

The Vatican also controls its own Internet domain, which is registered as (.va). Broadband service is widely provided within Vatican City. Vatican City has also been given a radio ITU prefix, HV, and this
is sometimes used by amateur radio operators.

Vatican Radio, which was organised by Guglielmo Marconi, broadcasts on short-wave, medium-wave and FM frequencies and on the Internet.[34] Its main transmission antennae are located in Italian territory. Television services are provided through another entity, the Vatican Television Centre.[35]

L'Osservatore Romano is the multilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation under the direction of Catholic laymen but reports on official information. However, the official texts of documents are those published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official gazette of the Holy See, which has an appendix for documents of the Vatican City State.

Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre, and L'Osservatore Romano are organs not of the Vatican State but of the Holy See, and are listed as such in the Annuario Pontificio, which places them in the section "Institutions linked with the Holy See", ahead of the sections on the Holy See's diplomatic service abroad and the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, after which is placed the section on the State of Vatican City.
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« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2008, 11:51:50 am »

See also

Borgo (rione of Rome)

Flag of the Vatican City
Military of the Vatican City

Music of the Vatican City

Diplomatic missions of the Holy See


^ Holy See (Vatican City). CIA — The World Factbook. Retrieved on 2007-02-22.

^ Vatican City State. Vatican City Government. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ The Principality of Sealand is generally classified as a micronation, not as an independent
sovereign state.

^ Vatican (search). Online Dictionary. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
^ a b c d Lateran Treaty

^ a b Excerpt of extra-territorial jurisdiction as per the Lateran Treaty of 1929: Article 13
Italy recognizes the full ownership of the Holy See over the patriarchal Basilicas of St. John Lateran, Sta. Maria Maggiore, and St. Paul, with their annexed buildings.

The State transfers to the Holy See the free management and administration of the said Basilica of St. Paul and its dependent Monastery, also paying over to the Holy See all monies representing the sums set aside annually for that church in the budget of the Ministry of Education.

It is also understood that the Holy See shall remain the absolute owner of the edifice of S. Callisto, adjoining Sta. Maria in Trastevere.

Article 14

Italy recognizes the full ownership by the Holy See of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, together with all endowments, appurtenances, and dependencies thereof, which are now already in the possession of the Holy See, and Italy also undertakes to hand over, within six months after the coming into force of the present Treaty, the Villa Barberini in Castel Gandolfo, together with all endowments, appurtenances, and dependencies thereof.

In order to round off the property situated on the northern side of the Janiculum Hill, belonging to the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide and to other ecclesiastical institutions, which property faces the Vatican Palaces, the State undertakes to transfer to the Holy See or other bodies appointed by it for such purpose, all real estate belonging to the State or to third parties existing in that area. The properties belonging to the said Congregation and to other institutions and those to be transferred being marked on the annexed map.

Finally, Italy shall transfer to the Holy See, as its full and absolute property, the Convent buildings in Rome attached to the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles and to the churches of San Andrea della Valle and S. Carlo ai Catinari, with all annexes and dependencies thereof, and shall hand them over within one year after the entry into force of the present Treaty, free of all occupants.

Article 15

The property indicated in Article 13 hereof and in paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 14, as well as the Palaces of the Dataria, of the Cancelleria, of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide in the Piazza di Spagna of the S. Offizio with its annexes, and those of the Convertendi (now the Congregation of the Eastern Church) in Piazza Scossacavelli, the Vicariato, and all other edifices in which the Holy See shall subsequently desire to establish other offices and departments although such edifices form part of the territory belonging to the Italian State, shall enjoy the immunity granted by International Law to the headquarters of the diplomatic agents of foreign States. Similar immunity shall also apply with regard to any other churches (even if situated outside Rome) during such time as, without such churches being open to the public, the Supreme Pontiff shall take part in religious ceremonies celebrated therein.

Article 16

The property mentioned in the three preceding Articles, as also that used as headquarters of the following Papal institutions - the Gregorian University, the Biblical, Oriental, and Archaeological Institutes, the Russian Seminary, the Lombard College, the two Palaces of St. Apollinaris, and the Home of the Retreat of the Clergy dedicated to St. John and St. Paul - shall never be subject to charges or to expropriation for reasons of public utility, save by previous agreement with the Holy See, and shall be exempt from any contribution or tax, whether ordinary or extraordinary and payable to the State or to any other body.

It shall be permissible for the Holy See to deal with all buildings above mentioned or referred to in the three preceding Articles as it may deem fit, without obtaining the authorization or consent of the Italian governmental, provincial, or communal authority, which authorities may in this regard rely entirely on the high artistic traditions of the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2008, 11:55:54 am »

^ Code of Canon Law, canon 361 and Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 48

^ Altar of Cybele, Vatican Museum retrieved 31 June 2006

^ Lanciani, Rodolfo (1892). Pagan and Christian Rome Houghton, Mifflin.

^ Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-2005

^ Vatican City (Politics, government, and taxation). Nations Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
^ Vatican City. Retrieved on 2007-03-04.

^ Pontificalis Domus, 3

^ The site Hereditary Officers of the Papal Court continues to present these functions and titles as still in use, several decades after their abolition.

^ Vatican Diplomacy,, retrieved Mar. 15, 2007

^ a b Vatican City Today. Vatican City Government. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.
^ Vatican influence on the United Nations, the World Health Organization and other international agencies.. Retrieved on 2007-03-16.

^ The Vatican to go carbon neutral

^ a b Holy See (Vatican City): Economy. CIA - The World Factbook. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.

^ Agreements on monetary relations (Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra). Activities of the European Union: Summaries of legislation. Retrieved on 2007-02-23.

^ Benedict Vatican euros set for release. Catholic News (2006-04-21). Retrieved on 2007-02-23.

^ Seán P. O'Malley (2006-09-28). A Glimpse Inside the Vatican & Msgr. Robert Deeley’s Guest Post. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.

^ Holy See (10/06). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 2007-03-04.

^ CIA - The World Factbook - Holy See (Vatican City)

^ The Vatican City State appendix to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis is entirely in Italian.

^ Vatican citizenship. Holy See Press Office. Retrieved on 2006-12-03.

^ a b c Vatican crime rate 'soars'. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ Lateran Treaty, 1929. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ Holy See - State of the Vatican City. Vatican Papal Conclave. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ a b Vatican City State Railway Railways of the World. Retrieved on 2006-08-08.

^ On call 24/7: Vatican phone system directs thousands of call each day, July 24, 2006.

^ The Early Definitives. Vatican Philacetic Society. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ a b Hail Marys Not Needed: Vatican Mail Will Deliver. New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-11-28.

^ Vatican Radio - Index

^ Vatican Television Center - Index
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2008, 11:58:49 am »

                                                              External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Vatican CityVatican City State - official website

Vatican Radio station

Vatican TV

CIA — The World Factbook — Holy See (Vatican City)

Detailed map of Vatican City

Video (YouTube) of St Peters and the Vatican City

Encyclopaedia Britannica's Vatican City page

History of Vatican City: Primary Documents

Lateran Pacts of 1929

Agreement Between the Italian Republic and the Holy See, 18 Feb. 1984

Piazza San Pietro in Vaticano Virtual Tour with map and compass effect by Tolomeus

The Pope's Walls Largest online source for St. Peter's in the Vatican


Vatican Philatelic Society Premier online source of information about Vatican City postage stamps
Vatican Secret Archive

Vatican Museums Online

Walls of Rome

World Heritage Site

Vatican City Live Webcam
Vatican City travel guide from Wikitravel

Vatican City is at coordinates 41°54′11″N 12°27′07″E / 41.903, 12.452 (Vatican City)Coordinates:
41°54′11″N 12°27′07″E / 41.903, 12.452 (Vatican City)
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2008, 08:21:44 am »

                                Vatican lends Parthenon Marbles fragment to Greece

Wed Nov 5, 2008
(Reuters) -

The Vatican returned a small fragment of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece on Wednesday on a one-year loan, fuelling calls for the British Museum to hand back its own priceless sculptures from the ancient temple.

The loan of the fragment, one of three in the Vatican Museum's vast collection of antiquities, follows
a request for its return by Greece's late Orthodox Archbishop Christopoulos at a meeting with Pope Benedict in 2006.

In recent years Greece has stepped up its campaign to recover large sections of the frieze removed from the Parthenon in 1801 by Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin and British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

The Vatican's fragment of the frieze, measuring 24 by 25 cm, depicts the head of a man carrying a tray. Just over a month ago Italy handed over a small section of the Parthenon Marbles housed in a museum in Palermo, Sicily.

"This is a very important event," said Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis. "It should be an example to follow for the return of the Parthenon Marbles."

The Elgin Marbles comprise roughly half the 160 meter (yard) frieze which adorned the temple of Athena on the Acropolis, completed in 432 BC as the crowning glory of Athens' Golden Age.

They were bought by the British government in 1816 from the bankrupt Elgin, and given to the British Museum "in perpetuity."

The British Museum has refused to return the treasures, which it says were acquired by Elgin through
a legitimate contract with the Ottoman Empire that then ruled Greece.

It also said its marbles were in better condition than those left behind, which suffered from the Athens pollution.

Greece says the completion of a 100-million-euro museum at the foot of the Acropolis, which will open to the public next year, means the time is ripe for their return.

Sweden, Germany and Italy have returned pieces taken from the Acropolis, but many artifacts remain
in collections in Denmark, Germany, Austria and France, archaeologists say.

Giandomenico Spinola, head of the Vatican Museum's classical antiquities department, said it was too early to say whether the loan of the piece would be renewed after one year or whether it could be extended to other pieces in the museum's collection.

"All the artifacts in the museum belong to the Pope, only he can make a decision," Spinola told Reuters.

(Additional reporting by Renee Maltezou, editing by Tim Pearce)
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2008, 12:59:58 pm »

Father Ambrose St.John is on the left

                                                   Was a Would-Be Saint Gay?

Mon Sep 1, 2008
The long-running battle between gay rights activists and the Vatican has moved into the realm of the dead. With 19th century Anglican convert Cardinal John Henry Newman, arguably the greatest Catholic thinker from the English-speaking world, moving ever closer to sainthood, trouble is brewing over where his final resting place should be. The London-born historian and theologian died in 1890 and, following the instructions in his will, was buried beside his lifelong friend and fellow convert Ambrose St. John, who had died 15 years earlier. Newman's deep expressions of grief after St. John's death, along with other writings, have led some historians to ask whether the two men, who lived together for many years, lived much like common-law spouses.
Newman, whose ideas on conscience and faith have influenced Christian theology ever since, is expected to be beatified next year following the Vatican's recent certification of a Newman miracle - when a Boston man's cure from a crippling spinal disease could not be explained medically. The final step of canonization - full Sainthood - will require proof of an additional miracle achieved through the intercession of Newman's spirit. The Vatican announced plans this month to move Newman's remains from a small gravesite in the central English town of Rednal to a specially built sarcophagus in the Oratory Church of Birmingham, where, officials say, they will be more accessible for venerating faithful.

But British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell sees ulterior motives in exhuming the Cardinal: "embarrassment" because of his relationship with St. John. "They were inseparable, they lived together for half a century, effectively like husband and wife," says Tatchell. "There were repeated allegations during [Newman's] lifetime about his circle of homosexual friends. It is uncertain whether their relationship involved sex. It is quite likely that both men had a gay orientation but chose to abstain from sexual relations. But abstinence does not alter a person's sexual orientation." Tatchell says that the two men's bond, and Newman's abiding wish to have his final resting place next to St. John's, make separating their remains "an act of dishonesty and betrayal by the homophobes in the Vatican."
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2008, 01:01:14 pm »

Father Paul Chavasse of Birmingham, who has led the cause for Cardinal Newman's beatification, said moving the remains has nothing to do with St. John. "Part of the established procedure prior to a beatification requires that, if the body of the new 'Beatus' exists, then it must be exhumed, inspected, and transferred to a place of honor befitting the person's new status," Chavasse told the Vatican-sponsored Zenit news agency. "As a great man of the Church and devoted to the saints himself, Cardinal Newman would have been the first to insist on obeying a request of the Holy See, and the last to insist that his own personal wishes be regarded as immutable."

To be sure, there is no evidence that Newman ever broke his vow of celibacy. British-based Catholic affairs writer Melanie McDonagh noted in the Times of London this week that Newman "would have regarded gay sex as an abomination."

But the brouhaha over Newman's burial place can also be seen as fallout from an increasingly hard line against homosexuality taken by traditionalist Catholic Church leaders. Before rising to the papacy, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger signed a Vatican document that said gay people have a "disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent." Since his election, Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly condemned gay marriage and said that no one should be admitted to the seminary who has deep-rooted homosexual tendencies.

Benedict, himself one of the top theologians of the modern era, was a student of Newman's writings. Knowing this, former Prime Minister Tony Blair brought three photographs of Newman to Benedict as a gift on his last visit to the Vatican, just months before announcing that he - like the English prelate - had converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism. In a 1990 address marking a century since Newman's death, Ratzinger spoke about the profound impact Newman's views had on young German seminarians in the wake of the Nazi regime. "For us at that time, Newman's teaching on conscience became an important foundation for theological personalism, which was drawing us all in its sway," Ratzinger said. "We had experienced the claim of a totalitarian party, which understood itself as the fulfillment of history and which negated the conscience of the individual. One of its leaders had said: 'I have no conscience. My conscience is Adolf Hitler.' The appalling devastation of humanity that followed was before our eyes." Benedict is unlikely to wade into the current debate. If he did, the Pope would no doubt point out Newman's belief that conscience only becomes complete when the faithful follow it to the higher calling of obedience.

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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2008, 01:03:04 pm »


                                             Mystery of cardinal's missing bones 

                              Claims of a miracle attributed to Newman are being investigated

Oct. 29, 2008

A forensic archaeologist has raised fresh questions over why no remains were found in the grave of an English cardinal in line to become a saint.

It comes just days before artefacts owned by Cardinal John Henry Newman go on display ahead of his possible beatification.

Tens of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Birmingham in 1890 as Cardinal John Henry Newman's body was carried eight miles to its final resting place.

Some 118 years later the Vatican ordered his remains be dug up.

Roman Catholic leaders in Birmingham were asked to exhume his body by the Vatican as part of the process which could lead to the cardinal's beatification.

"An expectation that Cardinal Newman had been buried in a lead lined coffin proved to be unfounded"

Peter Jennings, Church spokesman

The Vatican is investigating claims of a miracle attributed to him.

But when Church officials opened his grave, they found no skeleton.

They said it was "unsurprising" the remains had decomposed leaving only a few relics, including brass fittings.

These, along with some of the cardinal's former possessions already held by the Church, will be placed
on show in a glass-side casket in Birmingham Oratory on Friday and Saturday, ahead of a mass on Sunday.

But a leading forensic archaeologist, with 20 years of experience excavating graves, has raised new questions over the disappearance of Newman's remains.
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2008, 01:04:31 pm »

'Very unusual'

Professor John Hunter, from the University of Birmingham, tested soil samples from close to the grave site
in Rednal, Worcestershire.

He said the soil would not, in normal circumstances, have led to the complete decomposition of Newman's
skeletal remains.

"It would be, in my opinion, extremely difficult to explain the absence of skeletal material if this is the same
soil as that of Newman's grave," Professor Hunter said.

He said soil needed to be highly acidic with a lot of ground water washing through it in order for a body to
fully decompose in about 100 years.

But his tests appear to show the soil near the grave is not highly acidic.

And he added remains, such as teeth, could have been missed if no archaeologists had been present
at the exhumation.

"It's very, very unusual for a body to vanish completely.

Professor Hunter has tested soil samples near to Newman's grave

"[The remains] were either not being looked for hard enough or, dare I say it, they weren't there in
the first place."

So what has happened to Cardinal Newman's body?

Ian Panter, principal conservator at York Archaeological Trust, is examining the fragments of textiles recovered from the grave.

He said it was possible Newman's skeleton could have entirely decomposed and added he had come across a similar case in York.

"We have got three boxes of textile remains recovered from [Newman's] coffin and we may actually
find remains of the body," he said.

"We've got what we think might be a small fragment of bone. We need to carefully unravel the vestments and
see what we've got. It will be a slow process."

Peter Jennings, spokesman for The Fathers of the Oratory in Birmingham, which was tasked with
digging up the remains, said the "utmost care" had been taken during the exhumation.

He said representatives from Birmingham Health Authority, the Ministry of Justice, a doctor and a pathologist
had been present.
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2008, 01:06:21 pm »

Decomposition 'unsurprising'

And he added the firm which had carried out the dig was one of the most experienced in the UK.

"An expectation that Cardinal Newman had been buried in a lead-lined coffin proved to be unfounded," he said
in a statement after the exhumation.

"In the view of the medical and health professionals in attendance, burial in a wooden coffin in a very damp site makes this kind of total decomposition of the body unsurprising."

Newman is in line to become the first non-martyred English saint since before the Reformation.

In order for him to be canonised a miracle needs to be credited to him by the Vatican.

It is investigating a claim that Jack Sullivan, a deacon from Boston, Massachusetts, was cured of a serious
spinal disease after praying to the cardinal.
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