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Vatican is an ‘enormous soft power’, says MP after visit

By on Friday, 25 October 2013

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis (CNS)

British parliamentarians have concluded their three-day visit to the Holy See.

Eleven members of the All Party Parliament Group, accompanied by the chaplain to Parliament Canon Pat Browne, met with the Pope on Wednesday, after the General Audience.

MP Edward Leigh declared after the three day visit that “The Holy See is an enormous soft power, it represent a religion of 1.2 billion people and so the British government and the British parliament is very interested in what the Vatican says.”

The Group, made up of representatives of both House of Parliament and all the major political parties, has encountered senior officials of the Secretariat of State, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The visit continued through a meeting with Caritas Internationalis and with the Sant’Egidio Community, a Church association dedicated to evangelisation and charity through the world.

The group’s main role monitoring the relationship between Britain and the Holy See, exploring a broad range of issues pertaining to the Vatican and the work of the Catholic Church.

Sir Edward said they were aware of “the important role that the Holy See continues to play in international affairs”, as Sir Edward said. “For instance, what the Pope did in his day of prayer [for Syria] I think was significant: as you know, the British parliament led the world in voting against the war, and the Vatican and other Church people had a role to play in all that”, he added.