Queen Elizabeth Meets Pope Francis

Apr 3, 2014 |

 

Queen Elizabeth Meets Pope Francis

Queen with Francis

Her MajestyQueen Elizabeth II has probably met more Popes than any other queen. She met Pius XII in 1951 when she was still a princess. Then John XXIII in 1961. John Paul II met her twice at the Vatican and once in the UK, followed by Benedict XVI’s visit in 2010. 

 

Today, 3rd April, 2014, marks the first meeting between His Holiness Pope Francis and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and entourage.

 

NIGEL BAKER

British Ambassador to the Holy See

“It will be an unusual visit, in one sense, at the Vatican because unlike her previous visits to Rome, protocol will be very light. This is a mutual preference.”

 

Despite the casual and informal atmosphere, the meeting is also symbolic. 2014, marks 100 years since the UK and the Holy See established diplomatic relations. 

 

NIGEL BAKER

British Ambassador to the Holy See

“That was in 1914 after a very long hiatus going back to 1570 when relations between the Holy See and England at the time were broken when Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by the Pope.”

 

Since then, there’s been a lot of progress.  The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Under Her Majesty’s reign the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion has improved dramatically. She also saw the effects of the Second Vatican Council come to life. 

 

NIGEL BAKER

British Ambassador to the Holy See

“There are very few people she hasn’t met over the last 60 years, or more than 60 years now of her reign.” 

 

In fact, Queen Elizabeth II is one of the few people who actually met John XXIII and John Paul II, both of whom will be canonized on April 27th. The Queen will be represented by a close family member. 

 

NIGEL BAKER

British Ambassador to the Holy See

“She is going to be represented at the canonization by her cousin, the Duke of Gloucester. For her it was very important that she was personally represented here for the canonization.”

 

So, April 3, 2014 will be jotted down in history as the day when Queen Elizabeth II held her 7th papal meeting. 

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/04/03/pope_francis_and_queen_elizabeth_ii:_shared_christian_heritage/en1-787579

 

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