The Palace of Holyroodhouse where the Holy Father was welcomed by the Queen
I was rather impressed by the Speech of Her Majesty the Queen today, (full text here) as she welcomed the Holy Father on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom. In particular she spoke of the work, outreach and ministry of the Catholic Church :
"Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace, and to the economic and social development of the less prosperous countries of the world. We are all aware of the special contribution of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in its ministry to the poorest and most deprived members of society, its care for the homeless and for the education provided by its extensive network of schools."
And defending the freedom to worship:
"Your Holiness, in recent times you have said that ‘religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified’. Today, in this country, we stand united in that conviction. We hold that freedom to worship is at the core of our tolerant and democratic society."