The British government and the Holy See have worked together for” justice and peace and we wish to reinforce and extend this cooperation for the good of all.”
These were the words of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State at a special Mass in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. The Mass commemorated the centenary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See.
Baroness Anelay, Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, lead a delegation representing Queen Elizabeth II at the celebration along with representatives from the Catholic and Anglican Churches. She will also hold discussions with senior Vatican officials to discuss religious freedom, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other human rights issues.
In a statement released by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Baroness Anelay said she was “delighted to represent Her Majesty’s Government on in this important anniversary.”
“The visit is an important occasion to further strengthen the UK’s engagement with the Holy See on a range of issues of mutual concern, and to consider ways in which our networks might work more closely together, from human trafficking and freedom of religion and belief, to wider human rights issues and international development.”
According to L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Parolin recalled the works of “justice, peace and reconciliation that the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and other Christian communities have worked together on with the British government.”
Cardinal Parolin noted their collaborations, “from famine in Africa to typhoons in Asia, whether it be for the poor in our communities and for those in the margins of society: the unborn in the womb, the sick and the elderly, the victims of abuse and trafficking of humans beings.”
“In all these efforts, our determination to work for justice and peace takes root in the inalienable dignity of the human person,” he said.