2015-11-11 17:22:00

MP talks about relationship between Holy See and UK

(Vatican Radio) Six British members of parliament (MPs) are visiting the Holy See this week for talks on bilateral issues including climate change, the migration crisis, global development, religious extremism, the Middle East and the fate of Christians there. The MPS are members of the “All Party Parliamentary Group” (APPG) whose role is to monitor the relationship between the UK and the Holy See and brief people back home on issues pertaining to the Vatican and the work of the Catholic Church. The co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group is the Labour MP Rob Flello and he talked to Susy Hodges about the current state of the relationship between Britain and the Holy See and shared his views on Pope Francis’ papacy.

Listen to the interview with the British Labour MP Rob Flello:  

Asked to assess the importance of the relationship between the Holy See and Britain, Flello said that he sees it as “phenomenally important” and explained that many MPs “really value” the feedback from these visits and “the solidarity issues” that come out of them. He said there are currently around 85 MPs in Britain who describe themselves as Catholic and they come from all political colours. 

The Labour MP described their bilateral discussions on a variety of global issues with the Holy See as “always challenging” with Church officials often asking them, for example: “Is this really the way the UK should be going? But he believed that the Catholic Church was “always spot-on” and right to “hold a mirror up” and ask some challenging questions. We won’t always agree, Flello conceded, but at least “we disagree in good conscience.”

When asked to share his view on Pope Francis’ papacy, the British MP said the Pontiff too was “very challenging,” “he makes us ask some important searching questions about ourselves.” As for the faithful in Britain, Flello said they describe the Pope as “a breath of fresh air,” exciting, challenging in his message and sometimes “a little bit uncomfortable” but “they love him.”

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