Ambassador's Address on UK-Holy See Relations

"The Crown's Oldest Diplomatic Relationship Is With the Papacy"

This is the text of an address given on 14th October 2010 by Francis Campbell, the U.K. ambassador to the Holy See, at St. Mary's Cathedral in Newcastle.

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The UK, the Holy See, and Diplomacy

It is a real honour to be here tonight to deliver the Annual Cardinal Hume Memorial Lecture. It is an honour in so many ways because I know how special the memory of Cardinal Hume is held in this his home city of Newcastle where he was born in 1923. But it is also personally special because the Cardinal is buried in what is now my home parish of Westminster Cathedral. I am grateful to the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, St. Mary's Cathedral, the organisers of tonight's lecture - Fr Peter, and Fr. Marc, and Bishop Seamus for the kind invitation to speak to you this evening.

It is also apt that we are speaking tonight to the theme of the UK, the Holy See and diplomacy because we are doing so less than one month after Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to the United Kingdom. It was the second visit of a Pope to the UK - the first being the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982 - when Cardinal Hume was serving as the Archbishop of Westminster. But this most recent visit was the first official visit of a Pope to the country. The tenure of Cardinal Hume's leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales did so much to prepare the way for the first official visit of a Pope to these shores. It is fitting tonight that we can look afresh on the country's oldest diplomatic relationship - that between the Crown and the Holy See - and to do so from here in Newcastle - the birth place of one who did so much to enhance that relationship in the 20th century.

Tonight's theme speaks to a relationship that has over the centuries seen many significant events - some with a shared perspective and others with a marked degree of difference. But our focus tonight is the diplomatic relationship - in particular the diplomatic relationship between the UK and the Holy See. Tonight I would like to do three things. First, I would like to say something about diplomacy - an art that is often misunderstood. Second, I would like to say something about how foreign policy deals with religion. Finally, we will explore the diplomatic relationship between the UK and the Holy See - the Crown's oldest diplomatic relationship in the world.

Diplomacy

Diplomacy is often a word that is much misunderstood. When one mentions diplomacy many negative images can spring to mind. Perhaps none more so than Sir Henry Wotton's description of an ambassador as "a man of virtue sent abroad to lie for his country." Satow's guide to Diplomatic practice captures diplomacy as "the application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between the governments of independent states, and between governments and international institutions; or, more briefly, the conduct of business between states by peaceful means." [1]

At heart, diplomacy is about a relationship - it is about building, managing, deepening and maintaining a relationship. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says it is about the promotion of friendly international relations.[2] Diplomacy should not be confused with foreign policy. Foreign policy is formulated by governments, not by diplomats.[3] What is the purpose of foreign policy? Put simply: the purpose of foreign policy has been described as "persuading other countries to do what we want."[4] Now if Diplomacy is captured as "the art of persuading others to act as we would wish, effective diplomacy requires that we comprehend why others act as they do."[5] Diplomacy is simply the execution of foreign policy.

By its very nature, and because one of its aims is the bettering of relations, diplomacy and diplomats deal with difference. Diplomacy does not mean that perspectives are always shared - indeed there is no diplomatic relationship between two free sovereign states that I am aware of where there is a direct alignment of view on every subject. Difference is a key part of the diplomatic relationship and managing those differences is a central task of diplomats.

Often a caricature of diplomacy or diplomats has developed which casts the diplomat as an evasive figure often being somewhat economical with the truth. It is clear that diplomats often deal with time sensitive and secret issues and one cannot be quite as forthcoming as one might like. But that is true of all professions and not just diplomacy - indeed it is true of all relations. How the diplomatic craft is practised says something not only about the country one represents, but also the individual.

For some, diplomacy is about constantly gaining the strategic advantage over the other party. That approach rarely builds up trust or leads to the development of long-term fruitful relations. But that approach can have its uses and applications in specific circumstances. For most diplomats however, diplomacy is about finding a solution to a common problem. It is a two-way street and serves a mutual advantage. Diplomats pursuing national foreign policy objectives do not have to do so to the detriment of others - it can be mutually beneficial. William Hague set the scene earlier in the year when he outlined his vision for UK foreign policy. He said, "our enlightened national interest requires a foreign policy that is ambitious in what it can achieve for others as well as ourselves, that is inspired by and seeks to inspire others with our values of political freedom and economic liberalism, that is resolute in its support for those around the world who are striving to free themselves through their own efforts from poverty or political fetters. It is not in our character as a nation to have a foreign policy without a conscience or to repudiate our obligation to help those less fortunate. Our foreign policy should always have consistent support for human rights and poverty reduction at its irreducible core and we should always strive to act with moral authority, recognising that once that is damaged it is hard to restore."[6] Delivering that is the task of each UK diplomat.

Diplomatic strategy differs with each relationship and in each setting. The inter-play between diplomacy and power or strength of influence is complex. Some would argue that a diplomacy which is not backed by effective force - or the threat of effective force -- will not be taken seriously. The nexus of force and diplomacy is beyond the scope of tonight's talk, but diplomacy is in many respects an effort to ensure that force does not have to be used. How force is used in the modern world raises even more avenues to pursue well beyond tonight's focus, but the inter-play is there to be considered.

But what of the art of diplomacy - how should one practice the craft? Again that depends on the setting, context, players and the subject. Diplomacy in this regard is no different to many other human settings we face. But diplomacy does raise some unique challenges because of the many cultural and linguistic differences that exist across humanity. Those differences can raise personal and professional challenges for each diplomat when approaching their host country. The central task is to build a relationship between one's sending state and the host state. The diplomat has to interpret difference and to allow for that difference and yet not "go native." Getting that balance right is probably one of the trickiest tasks the diplomat faces. One could easily develop an all too sympathetic approach to one's host state over time and to slip into special pleading or advocacy for one's host state when dealing with the sending state.

The task of the diplomat is to explain the approach of the host state, the reasons for the difference in substance, style or nuance and to offer advice about how to take the relationship forward. But to be able to explain to one's hosts the approach of your state and the differences of one's hosts to the home audience, one must be grounded in two experiences; that of the culture you are in and the one you represent. How you do this is not as easy as it sounds. It is difficult to act as a bridge between the society one represents and one's host state. The temptation is to see the world through the prism of one's own domestic society; and perhaps be favourable towards that which is familiar. But this may lead to miscalculation which can result in serious strategic errors.

Religion: diplomacy and foreign policy

This is no clearer than when dealing with religion - one of the foundational themes of tonight's talk. Religion can pose a serious challenge for many western Diplomats. Much of that is cultural. Faith and religion can have very different effects in very different cultures. In some states and regions there are sharp distinctions between the spiritual and secular realms while in other cultures the concept of secular as distinct from religious hardly exists. Allowing for those difference is a crucial challenge of diplomacy.

In July 2007, the Washington based Centre for Strategic and International Studies produced a report on religion and foreign policy. The CSIS report states that "miscalculating religion's role has sometimes led to failure to anticipate conflict or has actually been counterproductive to policy goals. It has kept officials from properly engaging influential leaders, interfered with the provision of effective development assistance and at times harmed national security."[7] Professor Bryan Hehir of Harvard when speaking of diplomats and foreign policy specialists said, "there is an assumption that you do not have to understand religion in order to understand the world. You need to understand politics, strategy, economics and law, but you do not need to understand religion. If you look at standard textbooks of international relations or the way we organise our foreign ministries, there's no place where a sophisticated understanding of religion as a public force in the world is dealt with."[8]

Hehir says that "policy makers must learn as much as possible about religion and incorporate that knowledge into their strategies. It's like brain surgery - a necessary task - but fatal if not done well."[9]
Yet for much of the 20th century religion was ignored in foreign policy. In all the strategic reports at the time of the Millennium on the next decade, century, etc I don't recall one which identified religion as a serious issue. Indeed Time in 1966 and The Economist in 2000 repeated Nietzsche's prediction of the "Death of God" (or at least the demise of God).

The basic assumption at work in many western societies and places of learning was that as societies would develop they would secularize - otherwise known as the secularisation/modernisation theory.[10] The theory is broadly based on empirical data from north Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was commonly assumed that the world was following a trajectory set off in north Western Europe at the time of the Industrial Revolution. For much of the 20th century it went unchallenged. The notion, according to one scholar, wanted to marginalise religion by presenting it as little more than a form of reassurance - a psychological compensation for people in societies or countries with low levels of human development or poorly developed welfare states.[11] Bernard Lewis - the historian - wrote in 1977, "Westerners, with few exceptions, have ceased to give religion a central place among their concerns, and therefore have been unwilling to concede that anyone else could do so. For the progressive modern mind, it is simply not admissible that people would fight and die over mere differences of religion".[12]

A former US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, when reminiscing about her own ministerial career, admitted that religion was often ignored. She wrote, "I found it incredible, as the twenty-first century approached, that Catholics and Protestants were still quarrelling in Northern Ireland and that Hindus and Muslims were still quarrelling off against each other in south Asia; surely, I thought, these rivalries were the echoes of earlier, less enlightened times, not a sign of the battles to come". Albright even cited a case in the 1970s when the CIA dismissed an internal proposal to study religious leaders in pre-revolutionary Iran as - useless sociology.[13] But she says, "since the terror attacks of 9/11, I have come to realize that it may be I who was stuck in an earlier time. Like many other foreign policy professionals, I have had to adjust the lens through which I view the world."[14]

Albright claims that this miscalculation on the part of foreign policy specialists and diplomats harmed US foreign policy. She said, "because we underestimated the importance of tradition and faith to Iranian Muslims, we made enemies that we did not intend to make. Everyone in the region was presumed to be pre-occupied with the practical problems of economics and modernisation. A revolution in Iran based on a religious backlash against America and the West? Other than a few fanatics who would support such a thing?"[15]. In Vietnam, Albright said, "from the outset the anti-communist cause was undermined because the government in Saigon repressed Buddhism, the largest non-communist institution in the country."[16] And as recently as 2006, we hear from Bob Woodward that former President Bush asked an internal White House strategy meeting on Iraq, "if Iraqi nationalism trumped religious identity?"[17]

Some 20 years ago the "group-think" which long held that religion was a marginal issue in foreign policy considerations began to be challenged. Professor Peter Berger, the eminent American sociologist and expert on religions, was long an advocate of the secularisation theory - that held that societies secularised as they modernised. He changed his view on the basis of the empirical data from the United States, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe which pointed to religious practice either walking hand in hand with progress, and in some cases actually being the spur, or at least being a neutral variable. Berger said, "We don't live in an age of secularity; we live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity."[18] Secularization theory described a particular pattern in a particular region, namely industrialised and post industrialised Europe, where there was a dramatic drop in church attendance from agrarian societies to industrial and post-industrial societies.

But religion and foreign policy can still raise difficult questions for some people. Albright reminds us that she is often asked, "Why can't we just keep religion out of foreign policy?" She responds "we can't and shouldn't. Religion is a large part of what motivates people and shapes their views of justice and right behaviour. It must be taken into account."[19]

According to some scholars, the events in 1967 brought renewed attention to religion as an issue in foreign policy. Tim Shah of the US Council of Foreign Relations writes "In that year, the leader of secular Arab nationalism, Nasser, suffered defeat in the Six Days War. And by the 1970s, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, "born again" President Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II had dramatically demonstrated the increasing political clout of religious movements and their leaders."[20] Shah writes that, "a combination of rosary-welding Solidarity workers in Poland and Kalashnikov-wielding mujahedeen in Afghanistan helped defeat atheistic Soviet communism. Albright says, "In Poland, John Paul II helped construct a bridge that would ultimately restore the connection between Europe's East and West."[21] The Pope's visits (the first of which was in June 1979) sparked a revolution of the spirit that liberated Poland, brought down the Berlin Wall, reunited Europe, and transformed the face of the world."[22]

The late Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington argued that some of the religious movements helped to usher in the "third wave" of democracy in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia from the 1970s to the early 90s.[23] The US Council of Foreign Relations cites more than 30 of the 80 countries that became freer in 1972-2000, owed some of that improvement to religion. For example, in Nicaragua and El Salvador, Christian Churches played a prominent role within the reformist and revolutionary movements of the 1980s. In the 1990s, religion, ethnicity and nationalism collided with devastating force in the Balkans.[24] In the Philippines, Cardinal Sin and Catholic organisations openly condemned the Marcos regime.[25]

There is also substantial statistical evidence that points to religion in public life.

-- In a 2005 Gallup poll, two thirds of the world's population claimed to be religious.[26]
-- The proportion of people attached to the world's four biggest religions, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism - rose from 67% in 1900 to 73% in 2005 and may reach 80% by 2050.
-- In terms of sheer number of adherents, the world's largest religions have expanded at a rate that exceeds that of global population growth. At the beginning of the 20th century, a bare majority of the world's population (50%) were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or Hindu. At the beginning of the 21st century, however, nearly 64% of the world's people belonged to these four religious groups.[27]
-- In 1900, Africa had 10 million Christians representing 10 % of the population; by 2000, that was up to 360 million, to 46 percent of the population. That is the largest quantitative change that has ever occurred in the history of religion.
-- "Most Nigerians identify themselves by their religion first. In a recent Pew survey, 91% of Muslims and 76% of Christians said that religion is more important to them than their identity as Africans, Nigerians, or members of an ethnic group."[28]

The signs of the power of religion in foreign policy were evident throughout the period, but often religious considerations were ignored or marginalised as coincidental. The title of a recently published book "God is Back" illustrates the point.[29] It would be apt to say that God was never gone, but it was the research methodology and the selection bias which was flawed. Religion matters in the world and if foreign policy and diplomacy is to be effective it too must address religion as an issue.

So where to from here? How do we arrive at a situation where foreign policy is better equipped to deal with religion? How do we engage religious communities alongside influential political and economic actors as President Obama called for when he spoke in Cairo in June 2009? It must start with two things. First, we must sensitise ourselves to a world in which religion is alive and well; the real world and not the world in which some might feel more comfortable. As the Prime Minister said recently, "faith is part of the fabric of our country. It always has been and it always will be."[30] Secondly, we must begin to see religion as much as a source of healing as we now see it as a source of division - or as the Pope recently put it, "faith is not a problem for legislators to solve but rather a vital part of our national conversation".[31]

There is another major risk apart from ignoring the elephant in the room and that is seeing the "elephant" in every room. The risk now is that we go too early to the other extreme and see a religious cause or base to issues and problems which are essentially about race, ethnicity, or some other factor. That major risk is casting religion exclusively in a negative frame of reference. Today, the association of religion and violence is once more to the fore. But not all associations are justified. There can be a tendency to identify conflicts as religious when they are more accurately geo-political conflicts. Labeling a conflict as "religious" can be a lazy way to reduce complex struggles into simplistic frameworks.

Increasingly today religion is perceived as a threat because of its association with terrorism. The Chicago Global Affairs Council Report says that a "focus on religion through the lens of terrorism and counterterrorism strategy is too narrow."[32] A major challenge is to bring it back to a situation where we have a more balanced perspective and see it as much as a vehicle for peace and helping resolve conflicts. There are powerful practical illustrations to be made which show that the picture is more nuanced than simply condemning religion out of hand as a source of terror or war. The 2007 CSIS Report found that "Despite the fact that religion is seen as powerful enough to fuel conflict, policymakers less often engage with its peacemaking potential."[33] Albright writes "it is easy to blame religion - or more fairly, what some people do in the name of religion - for all our troubles, but that is too simple. Religion is a powerful force, but its impact depends entirely on what it inspires people to do. The challenge for policy makers is to harness the unifying potential of faith, while containing its capacity to divide."[34]

According to the Journal of International Affairs, "Religion can be one of the most powerful healers in post conflict situations. It can play a significant role in establishing peace in the present and dealing with the past."[35] The Political Scientist Paul Martin wrote "when conflict has ceased, only a few agencies are equipped to address the specific religious values, attitudes and loyalties that underlie ongoing tensions, let alone use them as tools in peace-building.

UK-Holy See

The Crown's oldest diplomatic relationship is with the Papacy - itself the oldest diplomatic entity in the world. It is a relationship that brings together much of what we have been speaking of here this evening. It has, like many relations, seen moments of triumph and of failure over the centuries as diplomatic ties have been strained, broken and strengthened. It is a diplomatic relationship which illustrates very clearly the global dimension of religion and it avoids narrow frameworks which too easily associate religion and violence. Today, the diplomatic relationship between the UK and the Holy See speaks powerfully to the positive contribution faith can make to the mutual benefit of all societies.

But there can be some confusion about the diplomatic nature of the Holy See. Our diplomatic ties - like all other 178 states - are with the Holy See. It is not the same as the Vatican City State. The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church and operates from the Vatican City State, a sovereign, independent territory of 0.44 square kilometres. The Pope is the ruler of both the Vatican City State and the Holy See. The Holy See acts and speaks for the whole Catholic Church. It is also recognised by other subjects of international law as a sovereign juridical entity under international law, headed by the Pope. The Holy See dates back to early Christian times. Ambassadors are officially accredited to the Holy See and not the Vatican City State, and Papal representatives to states and international organizations are recognised as representing the Holy See, not the Vatican City State. The Holy See as legal person bears many similarities with the crown in Christian monarchies.

The Vatican City State on the other hand is a sovereign independent territory which was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on 11 February 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State, distinct from the Holy See, is universally recognised under international law. Although the Holy See is closely associated with the Vatican City State, the independent territory over which the Holy See is sovereign, they are two international identities. The Holy See is not the same sovereign entity as the Vatican City State, which only came into existence in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty.

Formal diplomatic links between the Crown and the Holy See were first established in 1479 when John Shirwood was appointed by King Edward IV as the first resident Ambassador. Shirwood was also the first English Ambassador to serve abroad, making the Embassy to the Holy See the UK's oldest Embassy. I have also to note, as I am in Newcastle, that Shirwood was a former Bishop of Durham.

Formal diplomatic relations between the Crown and the Holy See were interrupted in 1536 at the time of the English Reformation. Diplomatic links were restored in 1553 under the reign of Queen Mary I. Sir Edward Carne - Mary's Ambassador - was initially Queen Elizabeth I's ambassador too, but when relations with the Holy See deteriorated he was recalled. Unofficial ties were maintained between the Crown and the Holy See through much of the 18th and 19th centuries: for example, Lord Odo Russell was the Crown's unofficial Minister to the Holy See from 1858 to 1870. The United Kingdom re-established formal resident diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1914.

While the Vatican, which is the headquarters of the Holy See, is exceedingly small in physical size, the Holy See is a sovereign entity with an unusually large global reach which touches one sixth of the world's population and many more beyond. The Papacy is one of the world's key opinion formers and it is because of this that it is a key part of the UK's diplomatic network.

The Catholic Church is a force on the world stage: a global religious institution with over 1.1 billion adherents (17.5% of the world's population and over 10% of the UK's population); reach into every corner of the planet through its 500,000 priests, 800,000 sisters/nuns, 219,655 parishes36; serious influence in as many countries as are in the Commonwealth, a privileged status as interlocutor with the two other Abrahamic faiths - Islam and Judaism - and two generations of intense experience in inter-faith dialogue and many centuries of co-existence. Pope John Paul II's funeral brought together the single largest gathering of Heads of State in history. The Holy See has a highly respected diplomatic corps with sharp eyes and ears, not only in 178 countries, but it is far closer to the ground than any ordinary diplomatic corps through its network of bishops in each region and clergy in each locality. The Holy See knows what is going on in the world at governmental and grass roots level, has extraordinary access at the highest political level in most Catholic countries, and knows who's who in the world's faith communities.

The Papacy's global weight is of importance to the UK. The Holy See is one of the world's oldest, largest, and what some might say one of the few truly global organizations. As such, they know what is going in the world and it is a very valuable listening post for the UK. We do not maintain an embassy to the Holy See for sentimental reasons alone even if it is our oldest overseas post. During his recent visit the Pope highlighted many of the areas the UK and Holy See work together on: the international arms trade treaty; human rights; the spread of democracy, especially in the last sixty-five years; debt relief, fair trade and financing for development, particularly through the International Finance Facility, the International Immunization Bond, and the Advanced Market Commitment. The Pope also said that, "The Holy See looks forward to exploring with the United Kingdom new ways to promote environmental responsibility, to the benefit of all."[37]

The Queen highlighted those same international issues, but she also cited the Holy See's contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland and the transition in Central and Eastern Europe. She said, "In this country, we deeply appreciate the involvement of the Holy See in the dramatic improvement in the situation in Northern Ireland. Elsewhere the fall of totalitarian regimes across central and Eastern Europe has allowed greater freedom for hundreds of millions of people. The Holy See continues to have an important role in international issues, in support of peace and development and in addressing common problems like poverty and climate change."[38]

International Development

The Holy See is a crucial partner to the international community if we are to deliver on the MDGs by 2015. As the Chicago Report pointed out, "In much of the world, particularly Latin America, Africa, and South East Asia, many schools, hospitals, social services, relief and development, and human rights programmes are sponsored by religious institutions."[39] The Catholic Church alone is reckoned to be the world's second largest international development body after the UN. More than 50% of the hospitals in Africa are operated under the auspices of faith-based organisations.[40] The Catholic Church in Africa is responsible for nearly one quarter of health care provision, including over 25% of HIV care worldwide. In education too the Catholic Church is a huge provider. It provides places in school to some 12 million children each year.

The UK has worked with the Holy See to develop the IFF - the International Finance Facility. It is a novel way to use the capital markets to front load development spending. Pope John Paul II gave it his full moral support. In November 2006, Pope Benedict XVI went one step further and gave it his full practical support. He bought the first Bond. The Bond raised over $1.6 billion dollars. IFFIm has been designed to accelerate the availability of funds to be used for health and immunisation programmes in 70 of the poorest countries around the world. It is expected to help prevent five million child deaths between 2006 and 2015, and more than five million future adult deaths by protecting more than 500 million children in campaigns against measles, tetanus, and yellow fever. There are few more practical illustrations of what we do at the Vatican than the immunisation Bond and Pope Benedict's participation helped spread the global message about the Bond and the mechanism.

During his recent visit the Pope praised the working relationship between the UK and the Holy See on international development. He praised the commitment of the Government to devote 0.7% of national income to development aid by 2013.41 The Pope praised the growth in solidarity with the poor. But he also called for "fresh thinking" to improve life conditions in many important areas, such as "food production, clean water, job creation, education, support to families, especially migrants, and basic healthcare."

Climate Change and the Environment

The Vatican City State is on track to be one of the world's first carbon neutral state through offsetting its emissions and installing solar panels. It also recently announced plans to build Europe's largest solar farm on 740 hectares to the north of Rome. That solar farm will produce enough energy to power over 40,000 houses and exceed the EU's renewable energy targets of 20 percent of demand by 2020. The UK is also working with the Holy See as part of our South America Climate Change Network which aims to raise awareness of climate change between the most recent summit at Copenhagen and the next gathering at Cancun.

But it is not just the Holy See's practical elements on climate change which are important to us. Climate change is a curious mix of moral cause and strategic interest. The moral dimension is crucial in addressing climate change. We saw that moral dimension emerge very clearly in the Pope's latest Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" when he called for the development of an integral human life with greater emphasis on human responsibility to creation.

Disarmament

In the most recent breakthrough in disarmament - the Treaty on Cluster Munitions - which came into force on 1 August 2010 - the Holy See played a unique behind the scenes role at the preparatory meeting in Wellington in getting agreement between the different camps. Without that help it is unlikely that we would have been able to get a breakthrough. The UK is also actively working together with the Holy See at the UN to deliver an Arms Trade Treaty, which would aim to introduce a more responsible global framework for the arms trade.

The Big Society

Faith groups have a key part to play in creating the Big Society. For example, faith communities have considerable resources to offer in terms of people and skills, local networks and assets such as buildings, which though often underused could easily be made available for wider community benefit. The UK Government will be working with faith communities to help them realise their full potential as part of wider civil society. For its part, the Catholic Church is participating fully in that dialogue. As Pope Benedict said in Westminster Hall, "religion, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation."[42] In the UK alone, the Catholic Church and associated charities play a significant part in providing care and help for the elderly and vulnerable (e.g.. volunteers from the Society of St Vincent de Paul make 1 million hours' worth of visits each year, the Passage in Westminster helps 200 homeless people each day, and there are many Catholic-inspired social enterprises), Catholic social charities spend £110m pa in the UK, and the community also raises well over £50m pa for international development; and over 10% of the country's schools are Catholic schools which are a major force of social inclusion and educational advancement in British society.

Conclusion

Ladies and Gentlemen, in January 2008, Pope Benedict XVI said "Diplomacy is, in a certain sense, the art of hope. It lives from hope and seeks to discern even its most tenuous signs. Diplomacy must give hope."[43] I believe that our relations illustrate that hope in action. Today, the diplomatic relationship between the UK and the Holy See bears fruit - perhaps more so than at any point in the last 531 years of our resident diplomatic relations. Why? Because our relations illustrate clearly the power of diplomacy - of building relations - in replacing centuries of mistrust and intolerance with mutual respect and co-operation. It speaks powerfully of the role of religion in public life, its contribution to finding solutions to many of the world's contemporary problems and it challenges those whose world view tries to marginalise religion or depict in a negative frame.

On 17 September 2010, Pope Benedict when speaking of the recent co-operation between the UK and the Holy See said that it illustrated how much progress had been made in promoting throughout the world the many core values that we share. He hoped and prayed that the relationship would continue to bear fruit.[44]
I am confident it will because on 19 September 2010, as he said farewell to the Pope on the runway of Birmingham Airport, the Prime Minister told the Pope, "during your visit we agreed to develop the co-operation between this country and the Holy See on the key international issues where we share a common goal. On winning the argument to get to grips with climate change. On promoting a multi-faith dialogue and working for peace in our world. On fighting poverty and disease. I passionately believe that we must continue to help the poorest, even in difficult economic times... And I am delighted that the Holy See will be working so actively with us to do all we can to achieve this.'[45]

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention.

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Notes:

[1] Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 6th Edition, Oxford University Press 2009, ed. Sir Ivor Roberts, page 3
[2] UN Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Vienna 1961
[3] Ibid, page 3
[4] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 11
[5] ibid, page 75

[6] Rt. Hon. William Hague, 1 July 2010, http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=Speech&id=22462590
[7] Mixed Blessings: US Government Engagement with Religion in Conflict Prone Settings, Centre for Strategic Studies, Washington DC, July 2007, page 2
[8] Bryan Hehir cited in Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 66
[9] Bryan Hehir cited in Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 74
[10] The secularization thesis is advocated by Steve Bruce. David Martin accepts secularization, but that it takes place in very different contexts and Grace Davie advocates the notion of the European exception.

[11] Scott Thomas, Journal of International Affairs, Volume 61, Number 1, page 31
[12] Bernard Lewis, "From Bable to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East," Oxford University Press, New York, 2004, page 285
[13] James A Bill, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988).
[14] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 9
[15] ibid, pages 39-40

[16] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 43
[17] Woodward Bob, The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008, Smon & Schuster, 2008
[18] Peter Berger, Pew Forum on Religion
[19] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 285
[20] Timothy Shah and Monica Duffy Toft, "God is Winning" (awaiting publication), but longer version of a piece in Foreign Policy, "Why God is Winning", July/August 2006 pages 39-43

[21] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 67
[22] ibid, page 68
[23] Samuel P Huntington, "Religion and the Third Wave," The National Interest, Summer 1991, pages 29-42
[24] Sheherazade Jafari, Journal of International Affairs, Volume 61, Number 1, page 114
[25] Timothy Shah and Monica Duffy Toft, "God is Winning" (awaiting publication), but longer version of a piece in Foreign Policy, "Why God is Winning", July/August 2006 pages 39-43

[26] Gallup, "Voices of the People," 16 November 2005
[27] World Christian Encyclopaedia, cited in Timothy Shah and Monica Duffy Toft, "God is Winning" (awaiting publication), but longer version of a piece in Foreign Policy, "Why God is Winning", July/August 2006 pages 39-43
[28] The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, March 21, 2007, cited in Mixed Blessings: US Government Engagement with Religion in Conflict Prone Settings, Centre for Strategic Studies, Washington DC, July 2007, page 29
[29] John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge "God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World", Penguin Press HC, 2009

[30] Prime Minister David Cameron, Birmingham Airport, 19 September 2010
[31] Pope Benedict XVI, Westminster Hall Speech, 17 September 2010
[32] Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for US Foreign Policy, The Chicago Global Affairs Council, 2010, page 5
[33] Mixed Blessings: US Government Engagement with Religion in Conflict Prone Settings, Centre for Strategic Studies, Washington DC, July 2007, page 41
[34] Madeline Albright "The Mighty and the Almighty," Harper-Collins, New York, 2006, page 66
[35] Editors' Forward, Journal of International Affairs, Volume 61, Number 1, page vi

[36] Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2006
[37] Pope Benedict XVI, Westminster Hall, 17 September 2010
[38] Her Majesty The Queen, speech to the Pope, Edinburgh, 16 September 2010
[39] Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for US Foreign Policy, The Chicago Global Affairs Council, 2010, page 11
[40] Mixed Blessings: US Government Engagement with Religion in Conflict Prone Settings, Centre for Strategic Studies, Washington DC, July 2007, page 9

[41] Pope Benedict XVI, Westminster Hall Speech, 17 September 2010
[42] Pope Benedict XVI, Westminster Hall, 17 September 2010
[43] Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 2008
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080107_diplomatic-corps_en.html
[44] Pope Benedict XVI, Address in Westminster Hall, September 17 2010
[45] Rt. Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister, Speech at Birmingham Airport, September 19, 2010.


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