In a damp Birmingham park before a crowd of 55,000 worshippers, Pope Benedict XVI rounded off his visit to Britain yesterday by beatifying the Victorian convert and theologian John Henry Newman. Like Newman (best remembered, said Benedict, for his "keen intellect and prolific pen"), this Pontiff has long enjoyed a reputation for being a complex, clever but rather dry academic, favouring language that is difficult to understand and moral positions that are uncompromising. Hence his nickname, "God's rottweiler". Or at least that was how Benedict was seen until he arrived in Britain. What a difference four days can make.