VATICAN CITY, JUNE 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI sent his congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II for her diamond jubilee, praising her commitment to the “principles of freedom, justice and democracy.”
In a note dated May 23, the Pope says the queen’s example is “in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.” He also lauded her role in promoting interreligious dialogue.
Elizabeth took the throne after her father, King George VI, died Feb. 6, 1952.
The full text of the Holy Father’s message:
To Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
I write to offer my warmest congratulations to Your Majesty on the happy occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of your reign. During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.
I retain warm memories of the gracious welcome accorded to me by Your Majesty at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at the beginning of my Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, and I renew my thanks for the hospitality that I received throughout those four days. Your personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions has contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realms.
Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.
From the Vatican, 23 May 2012