Nigel Baker » Ambassador to the Holy See

With Caritas supporting child migrants


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


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

1936-47 Sir D'Arcy Osborne - Minister_web

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


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


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

The case for freedom of religion or belief


The question of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB in the international jargon) is a challenging and sensitive one. It is a fundamental right, touching the conscience of the individual, underpinning many other rights. As we focus on the issue of equality on Blog Action Day, we must ensure that FoRB remains at the top of our agenda. It is all the more important because, globally, even simple tolerance of … Read more »The case for freedom of religion or belief

Contributing to Caritas

Cardinal Rodriguez with Syrian refugee

Caritas Internationalis (CI) is the official humanitarian and development agency of the global Catholic Church. Created in the 1950s under papal guidance, it was described recently by Pope Francis as “an essential part of the Church”. It now has over 160 member organisations operating in 200 countries and territories around the globe, including CAFOD in England, SCIAF in Scotland and Trocaire in Ireland. Last weekend, I had the privilege of … Read more »Contributing to Caritas

The Holy See and the Commonwealth

Flags of the Commonwealth flying in Horse Guards, London. Commonwealth Day 2014

The Commonwealth and the Holy See represent the two largest soft power networks in the world today. The Commonwealth with its 53 countries, 2.2bn citizens, and common values as expressed in its Charter focused on democracy, equitable economic development, good governance, young people, human rights, and social progress. The Holy See as the central governance of a global Catholic network of 1.2 billion people, its work based on the values of … Read more »The Holy See and the Commonwealth

Christian unity and good causes: small steps, big results


As ambassador to the Holy See, it is quite rare that I get out of Rome for professional purposes. Most of the key contacts and institutions with which the embassy works are, naturally, based in Rome. Although I plug into the global Holy See network, I do that through the hub. So I have had a few quite unusual days, albeit at the service of some key embassy objectives. Last … Read more »Christian unity and good causes: small steps, big results

The Church as a global player


The bishops in the US and health care reform. The leading role played by the Catholic Church in tackling corruption in the Philippines. Caritas Internationalis responding in a practical way to the rise in suicides amongst Indian farmers. Catholic radio and censorship in South Sudan. The response of the Eastern Church Patriarchs to ISIL. Using these examples in a recent article, the US Vatican commentator John Allen justified the launch … Read more »The Church as a global player