The Vatican has cleared the way for the beatification of John Henry Newman, the English Roman Catholic Cardinal.

A panel of theological consultors agreed unanimously that the inexplicable healing of an American man who was “bent double” by a severe spinal disorder came as a result of praying to Newman for a miracle, according to sources. Their decision was the final hurdle before Pope Benedict XVI can declare him “Blessed”. The Pope, who is known to be keen to make Newman a saint and who asks about the progress of his cause on a regular basis, was informed of the panel’s decision straight away. The vote means that the Pope can now beatify Newman at a date of his choosing. A second miracle will be required before Newman can be declared a saint.