by Father Anthony, STL
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1/ May 25, 2012 — Comments On ‘Situations’ in Austria, U.S. (Nuns) and Ireland (Brady) & New Missal.
My Dear Friends,
May 28th was the 30th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Britain in 1982. For those of us who were involved in that visit it was a quite remarkable experience. It was the first time that any Pope had come to this country. Given the long history of British hostility to the Catholic Church, and in particular to the Papacy, no one was quite sure how the Pope would be received. In the event it was a huge success and generated interest far beyond the Catholic community. On the first day of the visit the Pope went to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. Such a visit would have unthinkable even a few years earlier.
This weekend the country is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen who came to the throne in 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. These last sixty years have seen a great change in the relations between The Monarchy and the Catholic Church. As Princess Elizabeth the Queen visited Pope Pius XII in Rome, and later as Queen visited Pope John XXIII and on two occasions Pope John Paul II. At the funeral of Pope John Paul II the Queen was represented by Prince Charles, and at the Inaugural Mass of Pope Benedict XVI by the Duke of Edinburgh. When Pope Benedict arrived in Edinburgh, in an unprecedented gesture the Duke of Edinburgh went in person to the airport to greet the Pope and accompany him to Holyrood Palace where he was received by the Queen. These very public events illustrate how profoundly things have changed for the better. This weekend we pray for the Queen, thanking God for sixty years of faithful service to our country and especially for her quiet but firm Christian witness.
With my love and prayers for each of you,