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Tuesday, 1 June 1965


Mister Minister,

We bid you a warm welcome, We thank you for the kind words of your address, and We assure you at once of Our confidence, benevolence and trust, in the fulfilment of your high Mission.

Your Excellency has referred to the goals and purposes which associate Great Britain and this Holy See, and We feel sure that your activities as Her Britannic Majesty’s Minister will bring closer the realization of these high aims.

We request your kind offices to convey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and to the Duke of Edinburgh the assurance of Our prayerful good wishes for themselves, for the Royal Family, and for the beloved people of Great Britain. We are grateful for Her Majesty’s greetings of goodwill, and her kind remembrance of her visit to Our Predecessor of happy memory, Pope John.

We are, moreover, highly appreciative of the mention made by Your Excellency of the Vatican Ecumenical Council still in session. We note with immense pleasure the positive evaluation given. by such an authoritative interpreter as the Representative of Great Britain, to the Council’s intentions in regard to the promotion of the re-union of all Christians. Indeed, this is one of the great aspirations which orientate Our apostolic programme.

We should be pleased and honoured if Your Excellency, in the course of your Mission, would bear witness to the solicitude with which We seek to serve so important a cause, and would convey to your Government and the British people something of the care, both discreet and respectful, with which the Holy See favours, in God’s good time, perfect reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England, being always and exclusively guided by a twofold love: love for the teaching of Christ; love for true brotherhood among all Christians.

Particularly are We touched by Your Excellency’s reference to international disarmament; and We recall the appeal We made, during Our visit to India, that the huge sums spent on arms be diverted, at least in part, to the relief of hunger and poverty throughout the world, We welcome your noble Nation’s determination to work also for this lofty purpose and, in general, for the vital cause of world peace.

As you begin your Mission, We wish Your Excellency every success and happiness; and upon your august Sovereign and the people of Great Britain, We invoke richest graces and blessings from Almighty God.        

*AAS 57 (1965), p.601-602.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. III, p.319-320.

L' Osservatore Romano 2.6.1965, p.1.


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