February 15, 2012.
) It's been 30 years
since the United Kingdom
and the Holy See
established full diplomatic relations
. To mark the occasion, a delegation of key political figures from the UK, made a trip to Rome. Rt. Hon Baroness Warsi
Cabinet Minister (United Kingdom)“The UK recognizes that, as the smallest state in the world, the Holy See has the widest global reach. It therefore seems inevitable that the UK with its global reach, historical and cultural interests should nurture, strengthen and promote our relationship.”
is a British politician. She serves as the minister without Portfolio in David Cameron's Cabinet. In fact, she's representing the Prime Minister in this visit.
Warsi is a Muslim. Speaking at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
, she talked about the loss of religious identity in Europe. Something she argues, weakness not just Christianity, but all other minority religions. Rt. Hon Baroness Warsi
Cabinet Minister (United Kingdom)“Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity. Let us be honest. Too often there is a suspicion of faith in our continent, where signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings, where states won't fund faith schools, and where faith is sidelined, marginalized and downgraded. It all hinges on a basic misconception: that somehow to create equality and space for minority faiths and cultures we need to erase our majority religious heritage.”
She went on to say that erasing that history or even binding a continent to the role of religion is wrong. During the visit both states will talk about climate change, cultural, social, political and economic issues as well as inter-religious dialogue. Rt. Hon Baroness Warsi
Cabinet Minister (United Kingdom)“Instead, interfaith dialogue works when we debate our differences, when we wear our beliefs on our sleeves. It’s not about you giving your version of God, and me giving my version of God. And us coming to some watered-down compromise. But about establishing our areas of consensus.”
Warsi also talked about meeting the Pope during his visit to the UK back in 2010. Here in Rome, the delegation also held an audience with the Pope during its two day visit. Among others, the delegation includes Scotland's Secretary of State
as well as his counterpart in Northern Ireland