Nigel Baker » Ambassador to the Holy See

Looking back, looking forward: a few highlights

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meets His Holiness Pope Francis, 3 April 2014. Photo: Osservatore Romano, all rights reserved

The end of the year is always a good moment to take stock, and that holds no less for embassies as for individuals. A few of our 2014 highlights: The large number of high level bilateral visits to the Vatican, topped of course by that of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in April to see Pope Francis. Such visits show that the UK places great importance … Read more »Looking back, looking forward: a few highlights

Britain’s global horizons: international partners and penguins

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The UK’s fourteen Overseas Territories add a particular dimension to British foreign policy and our world view. I often write in these pages about the global Holy See network. The United Kingdom has long had, and still retains, a global role, of which our fourteen Overseas Territories are both one result and an ongoing manifestation. They are exceptionally diverse, making Britain the world’s leading penguin nation as well as one … Read more »Britain’s global horizons: international partners and penguins

Britain and the Holy See stand together in defence of justice

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In his homily at our celebration at St Paul’s outside the Walls of the centenary of the restoration of official UK-Holy See diplomatic relations in 1914, The Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, praised how the United Kingdom and the Holy See “have worked together for justice and peace” over many years. He also set down a challenge. “We want”, he said, “ to reinforce and extend this cooperation for … Read more »Britain and the Holy See stand together in defence of justice

A Scotsman in the Holy See

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Guest blog by Monsignor Charles Burns OBE, Ecclesiastical Advisor of the British Embassy to the Holy See There have been Scots here in Rome for many centuries. The Scottish Hospice was founded in 1475 to assist Scottish pilgrims, and the Pontifical Scots College – where the Feast of St Andrew is celebrated every year – was founded in 1600 to train Scotsmen for the priesthood in Scotland. The Stuart court … Read more »A Scotsman in the Holy See

Violence against women, migration, and values

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The following is a guest blog by Simona Prete, Policy and Communication Officer, British Embassy to the Holy See Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Last week, I attended a roundtable discussion held during the VII World Congress of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, focused on migrant women, cooperation and development. I joined women with incredible backgrounds and experience on … Read more »Violence against women, migration, and values

With Caritas supporting child migrants

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I was delighted this week to be able to have taken part in a podcast interview at Vatican Radio, organised by Caritas Internationalis, on child migrants. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), an important international Convention that the United Kingdom signed in 1990 and ratified in 1991, committing us to incorporate its provisions in our legislation. The discussion was … Read more »With Caritas supporting child migrants

The Catholic Church, the UK and the fight against Ebola

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The following is a guest blog by Steve Townsend, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy to the Holy See The Ebola virus spread quickly through Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, with over 13,000 deaths so far. The disease has made the front pages across the globe, provoking concern, offers of assistance, and in some cases, panic.  The UK government has quickly stepped up to the plate, offering over … Read more »The Catholic Church, the UK and the fight against Ebola

Taking risks for the Church

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Pope Francis often talks of the need for priests to take risks, to get out into the streets, to live the message of the Gospel. This week I met a group of people who are living witnesses to just such an approach – descendants, relatives and friends of Msgr Hugh O’Flaherty, Major Sam Derry, and others involved in the British Organisation in Rome for Assisting Allied Escaped Prisoners of War … Read more »Taking risks for the Church

Parliament comes to the Holy See

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This week I shall be hosting the regular visit of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Holy See, representatives of a large group of British parliamentarians – from both Houses of Parliament – keen to help strengthen and develop the relationship between the UK and the Holy See. It is always a fascinating visit. The group brings perspectives from across the political spectrum, and reflects the plurality and complexity … Read more »Parliament comes to the Holy See

Synod and University: a global network in action

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I often tell people that I consider myself accredited, first and foremost, to a global network, the most extensive on the planet. In a world that operates no longer through blocs but networks, that of the Holy See reaches parts that political, diplomatic or ordinary civil society networks simply cannot reach. For a diplomat based at the Vatican, that represents an extraordinary resource; for information about, understanding of, and access … Read more »Synod and University: a global network in action