Vatican, UK Call for Respect for Religion in All Countries

Emphasize Need for Church to Be Able to Act According to Its Principles

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 15, 2012 ( Today the Vatican published an official communiqué following the visit by a delegation from the United Kingdom, which marked the anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two states.

During the two-day visit, which concluded today, the secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, hosted talks between the Holy See and the delegation led by Baroness Warsi. 

The delegation also met the Pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and was received by Benedict XVI.

According to the communiqué both parties agreed on the urgent need for action to strengthen the universal commitment to religious freedom as a fundamental human right, and to promote respect for all religions in all countries. 

«The Holy See and the British government look forward to working together to combat intolerance and discrimination based on religion, wherever it is manifest,» the statement declared.

Other topics included «integral and sustainable global development, based on the centrality of the human person and grounded in the principle of the inherent human dignity and worth of each person.»

The need for health care, education and adequate nutrition for all were also dealt with.

The Holy See and the British government reaffirmed their commitment to work through international organizations to prevent conflict and to promote disarmament and non-proliferation.


Commenting on the recent changes in North Africa and the Middle East the communiqué observed that «the Holy See and Her Majesty’s Government stressed the importance of undertaking real reforms in the political, economic and social realms, in order better to ensure the unity and development of each nation, in responding positively to the legitimate aspirations of many people for peace and stability.»

The situation between Israelis and Palestinians, the conflict in Somalia, and the ongoing efforts for reconciliation in Northern Ireland were also topics of discussion.

Both sides, the communiqué declared, «recognized in particular the role of faith and education in the development of a culture of social responsibility and the underpinning of a healthy society.»

«In this context, appreciation was expressed for the significant contribution which the Catholic Church, and Christians in general, have made and continue to make to the good of British society,» the statement added.

Regarding the situation in Britain the Holy See’s statement mentioned that it was necessary that the institutions of the Catholic Church be able to act in accordance with their own principles and to safeguard the family based on marriage, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

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