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Britain retains a 'Christian soul,' Pope tells audience

September 22, 2010

At his weekly public audience on September 22, Pope Benedict XVI said that his visit to Great Britain had “confirmed my profound conviction that the old nations of Europe possess a Christian soul.” The Church, he said, “never ceases to work to keep this spiritual and cultural tradition alive.”

Following his usual practice after a voyage abroad, the Holy Father devoted most of his Wednesday audience to a recap of his trip. He described his visit to the United Kingdom—the first state visit ever by a Roman Pontiff—as “a historic event marking a new important phase in the long and complex history of relations between that people and the Holy See.”

The Pope told his audience that he had stressed the importance of a new evangelization in Great Britain, to combat “an insidious relativism threatens to darken the unchanging truth about the nature of man.” In his address to the nation’s political leaders, he added, he had emphasized “the importance of the faith in forming mature and responsible citizens.” “The culmination of my visit to the United Kingdom was the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, illustrious son of that land,” the Pope said. He said that the “shining example” of Cardinal Newman should be help people to recognize that the path to true knowledge “means openness, conversion and obedience to He Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.”


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