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Pope Francis meets with Queen Elizabeth for first time

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/4/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Meeting recalls Great Britain's sometimes contentious relationship with Argentina

Pope Francis and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II met for the first time this week in Rome. The Queen was accompanied by husband Prince Philip. The occasion marked a one-day visit to Italy at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, whose role as head of state is largely symbolic.

Elizabeth's first papal encounter was with Pope Pius in 1951, the year before she ascended the throne, radio journalists noted.

Elizabeth's first papal encounter was with Pope Pius in 1951, the year before she ascended the throne, radio journalists noted.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/4/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Queen Elizabeth, Pope Francis, meeting, Vatican


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Queen along with the Duke of Edinburgh attended a lunch hosted by Napolitano at the presidential palace before heading to Vatican City.

A private audience with Pope Francis was the first meeting between the 87-year-old Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Elizabeth II has met some of his papal predecessors.

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This week's audience marked the queen's seventh encounter with a pontiff. Francis was the fifth different pope she has met during her reign. Besides trips to Rome, The Queen has also welcomed Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, on their respective visits to Britain.

Elizabeth's first papal encounter was with Pope Pius in 1951, the year before she ascended the throne, radio journalists noted.

The Queen's latest visit to Italy, at the invitation of Napolitano, was initially planned last year but was postponed on account of illness.

"If you look back in terms of Queen Elizabeth's reign, it is extraordinary how far the relationship between Britain and the Holy See, and between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, has developed since 1952 when she became queen,"  Britain's ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, told Vatican Radio. He noted that the Queen had decided to take advantage of the rescheduled trip to meet Pope Francis.

A key aspect of that has been her several encounters with different popes over the years, Baker said.

From Argentina, Pope Francis was elected pope in March of last year after Benedict took the nearly unprecedented step of resigning from the papacy.

Britain and Argentina have a sometimes contentious relationship, thanks to an unresolved dispute over the Falkland Islands. The two countries went to war over the South Atlantic territory in 1982 after the then-military government in Argentina landed troops on the islands, which Argentinians call Las Malvinas.

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