Loading
Margaret Thatcher a 'staunch family champion,' ambassador says
By Estefania Aguirre
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker.
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker.

.- 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

RESOURCES »

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

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: