Nigel Baker » Ambassador to the Holy See

Remembering the Holocaust

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In November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly declared 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date recognises the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau slave labour and extermination camps in 1945.  As well as being an occasion to remember the millions who suffered and died under Nazi policies, Holocaust Memorial Day gives us a chance to reflect on the nature of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and prejudice in general and to debate … Read more »Remembering the Holocaust

The Jesuits: revival, restoration or re-establishment

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Earlier this week, the embassy co-hosted with the Pontifical Gregorian University – the university in Rome run by the Jesuits – an event to commemorate the bicentenary of the decision by Pope Pius VII to re-establish the Society of Jesus in 1814, 41 years after its suppression by Pope Clement XIV. This was much more than an historical event. The Jesuits continue to play a crucial role in the global … Read more »The Jesuits: revival, restoration or re-establishment

The Universal Papacy

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The title may have startled you. It was Pope Innocent III, back in the 13th century, who declared that as ‘Vicar of Christ’ the Pope had received from God “not only the universal church but the whole world to govern”. Even at the time, secular rulers begged to differ, leading to centuries of competition for authority between popes and kings. By the 19th century, any Papal pretensions to secular power … Read more »The Universal Papacy

Pope Francis in 2015

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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 After the busy Christmas period in the Vatican, January has often been a slightly quieter time. However, under Pope Francis this is not looking likely, as the diary is already filling up fast. On 12th January there will be the traditional Address to the Diplomatic Corps, which has been … Read more »Pope Francis in 2015

World Day of Peace: Against Modern Slavery

With Pope Francis 2 December 2014

The following is a guest blog by Steve Townsend, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy to the Holy See In his message for the World Day of Peace (1st  January), Pope Francis has returned to the struggle against modern slavery. His address, entitled “No longer Slaves, but Brothers” highlights the many different faces of slavery, not only those working in fields and factories or in the sex industry under … Read more »World Day of Peace: Against Modern Slavery

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