Margaret Thatcher a 'staunch family champion,' ambassador says
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker.
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker.
By Estefania Aguirre
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- After Pope Francis praised the Christian ethics of the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the British ambassador to the Holy See emphasized her strong defense of family values.

“Lady Thatcher was a staunch champion of the family,” said Vatican ambassador Nigel Baker.

“She will be remembered by people of faith in Britain as a leader with conviction, passion, determination and decisiveness, qualities that continue to be those most needed in political and public leadership today,” he told CNA on April 9.

Pope Francis sent a message on April 9 to British Prime Minister David Cameron offering his condolences on the death of the “Iron Lady.”

The Holy Father said he was saddened to hear of her death and recalled with appreciation the Christian values that “underpinned her commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations.”

Baker said it is “worth recalling that she recited the Prayer of St. Francis when she arrived at Downing Street on her first day in office.”

“Lady Thatcher is recalled by many as a conviction politician, who was not afraid to do what was unpopular if she believed it was right,” he stated.

Baker also said he believes that Thatcher and Blessed John Paul II both contributed to the downfall of communism and that she “played a central role in the reopening of Central and Eastern Europe to freedom.”

“Pope John Paul II was a spiritual leader, Lady Thatcher a stateswoman, but both were adamant that totalitarian communism was an aberration in the history of Europe, and worked tirelessly for the same goal,” Baker said.

“Her personal impact at the time on people in countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary was enormous and her personal engagement with Mikhail Gorbachev was a key step towards the end of the Cold War,” he remarked.

The British ambassador recalled the first years of his diplomatic career he spent in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.

“Two personalities stood out, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher,” he said.

“Market traders in Budapest remembered vividly her visit there in the 1980s, when she delighted them by buying fruit and vegetables with her own money, negotiating over the price,” said Baker.

He explained that she garnered immense respect amongst ordinary people across the region.

The ambassador also recalled that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday, “Margaret Thatcher didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country.”

When Baker was in school in London during the late 1970s and the Winter of Discontent, he remembered it as a time when “our leaders appeared to be in despair, with no solutions and then this extraordinary woman came along, and shook the country awake.”

“Not everyone agreed at the time, or agree now, with her strong medicine for the country’s ills.

“But as a young man with a keen sense of history, I did believe that Britain was finally back on track, and Margaret Thatcher had played a crucial role in putting us there,” Baker commented.

Tags: Deceased, Pope John Paul II, Politicians

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 1:14-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 1:14-20