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Thursday, 13 August 1970


Mister Minister,

It is with very great pleasure that We welcome you here today in your official capacity as you present the Letters whereby Her Britannic Majesty accredits you as Her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.We deeply appreciate the kind message you have brought from Her Majesty, for whom We have a special regard.

The aims of Our Pontificate, which you have so generously described, are really the goals of all right Christian living, and it is to ideals such as these that the spiritual in man wishes to aspire.

We are happy to hear from you of the aims of Her Majesty’s Government-especially those which ultimately conduce to peace and fraternity, within the context of the rule of law, and those which concern social progress and development.

We note that negotiations are proceeding for the wider membership of the European Communities. A United Europe can be a source of strength and stability-not only for Europe itself but also for the rest of the world: it need not be a community preoccupied only with its own problems, but can be a strong and prosperous base extending its help to those parts of the world which are less prosperous.

We know of the friendly cooperation which exists between your Government and the Roman Catholic Church in many spheres of activity, and We wish to give assurance that the Church will always be ready to assist in those matters which specially concern her, such as education and spiritual care.

The close relationship between the Established Church of the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church is a matter which gives hope in these times when responsible religious leadership can be so important to the true happiness and destiny of a nation.

To Your Excellency We offer a word of personal welcome. Your invaluable experience in varied fields of diplomacy and responsibility has not escaped Our notice. It gives Us full confidence that your pledge to work for the maintenance and strengthening of the links of understanding and friendship with the Holy See will be fulfilled: to that end the Holy See will give you the closest collaboration. You have Our best wishes for the happy discharge of your task.

Please convey to Her Majesty Our special greetings. We pray that she, her family and her people will have abundant blessings from God, and that peace and prosperity will grace her beloved nation.

*ORa n.34 p.6.


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