Monday, April 08, 2013

Bishops, Pope offer prayers after death of Britain's Margaret Thatcher

May she rest in peace.

LIVERPOOL, England (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of England and Wales offered prayers for the soul of Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who died at age 87 following a stroke.

Baroness Thatcher, who led Britain from 1979 to 1990, died "peacefully" the morning of April 8, according to her family.

Soon after news of her death was made public, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, issued a short statement.

"It was with sadness that we heard the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher, who served this country for many years both as a member of Parliament and as prime minster," said Archbishop Nichols.

"We pray for the repose of her soul and for the intentions of her family and all those who now mourn for her," he added.

Later that day, the Vatican released a telegram that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, sent on behalf of Pope Francis. The telegram said the pope "was saddened to learn of the death" of Thatcher and recalled "with appreciation the Christian values which underpinned her commitment to public service and the promotion of freedom among the family of nations." It said Pope Francis entrusted her soul to God's mercy and assured her family and the British people of his prayers.

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