Loading
UK ambassador hopes visit will set trend for engaging Vatican
By David Kerr
UK delegation to the Holy See Feb. 14-15.
UK delegation to the Holy See Feb. 14-15.

.- The United Kingdom's Ambassador to the Holy See believes the two-day visit of government ministers to Rome Feb. 14-15 will set a new trend in how foreign countries should diplomatically engage the Vatican.

“Very few countries seize the opportunity that we have spotted, as far as the Holy See is concerned, of working with their network across all these issues that we are interesting and they are interested in,” Ambassador Nigel Baker told CNA Feb. 15.

Throughout the morning, a team of seven U.K. ministers took part in discussions with their respective Vatican equivalents. The result was a joint communiqué outlining areas of agreement between the U.K. and Holy See on issues such as culture, human rights, climate change and international development. 

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone “last night said at dinner that this is something we should have been doing in the past and maybe ought to be doing in the future,” said Ambassador Baker, “so I think we set a few hares running in the Holy See.”

The communiqué also noted areas of disagreement between the U.K. and the Vatican. It stated that in their talks, the Holy See “emphasized the need to ensure that institutions connected with the Catholic Church can act in accordance with their own principles and convictions,” and also “stressed the necessity of safeguarding the family based on marriage, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.”

The U.K.'s Conservative-Liberal coalition government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is currently committed to introducing same-sex “marriage” by 2015. They have also refused to give Catholic adoption agencies any opt-out from rules compelling them to place children with homosexual couples. In recent years 11 Catholic adoption agencies in England have been forced to close down or severe official ties with the Church.

After their bi-lateral discussions, the U.K. ministerial delegation had a 20-minute private audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the delegation’s lead minister, presented the pontiff with a message from Queen Elizabeth and a copy of the King James Bible courtesy of Prime Minister Cameron. As the U.K.'s first female Muslim cabinet member, Baroness Warsi also gifted the Pope a copy of the Koran and a gold-plated cube that opens up to reveal 99 smaller cubes, each inscribed with a reference to Allah.

“The Pope had a chance to talk to individual ministers in turn and also to talk to Baroness Warsi, particularly about some of her messages contained within her speech yesterday when she spoke about the importance of faith in the United Kingdom,” said Ambassador Baker.

On Feb. 14 Baroness Warsi told an invited audience of trainee Vatican diplomats that British society is under threat from “militant secularization” reminiscent of previous “totalitarian regimes.”

The U.K. ministerial mission follows-on from Pope Benedict’s successful 2010 visit to the United Kingdom. Ambassador Baker explained that the U.K. government didn’t want the Papal visit to be merely a one-time occurrence.

“You can’t just have this extraordinary event and then sit back for ten years and say 'well that’s that relationship sorted' so there was always a sense that some sort of follow-up should happen,” he explained.

The Ambassador said the past two days have surpassed his expectations and that he is now looking to build on the achievements of the past 48-hours.


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?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
22

Liturgical Calendar

July 22, 2014

Saint Mary Magdalene

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:24-43

Gospel
Date
07/20/14
07/19/14
07/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Mic 7: 14-15, 18-20

Saint of the Day

St. Mary Magdalene »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 12:38-42

Homily
Date
07/21/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: