Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Saturday, 25 April 2009 14:00 UK

Newman 'on the path to sainthood'

Cardinal John Henry Newman
Cardinal John Henry Newman founded the Birmingham Oratory

The English Roman Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman has had the path to beatification cleared by the Vatican.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a theological panel has agreed that a miracle can be attributed to the 19th Century cardinal.

But a second miracle is still required before he can be canonized as a saint.

Newman, who founded the Birmingham Oratory and was known for his work with the poor, converted to Catholicism in 1845. He died in 1890.

The panel investigated a claim that Jack Sullivan, a deacon from Boston, Massachusetts, was cured of a serious spinal disease after praying to the cardinal.

If he were beatified, Newman would become the first non-martyred English saint since before the Reformation.

The step-by-step process for his beatification began at the Birmingham Oratory in the late 1950s.

It continued with Pope John Paul II declaring Newman to be Venerable in January 1991.

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