February 24, 2024
Queen Elizabeth II, praised by England's leading Catholic cardinal for her faith, said her sense of "personal accountability before God" underpinned her entire life.

Queen Elizabeth II, praised by England’s leading Catholic cardinal for her faith, said her sense of “personal accountability before God” underpinned her entire life.

“On 21 April 1947, on her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth said, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service,’” said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, on news on the Queen’s passing at her Balmoral estate in Scotland.

“Now, 75 years later, we are heartbroken in our loss at her death and so full of admiration for the unfailing way in which she fulfilled that declaration,” the prelate continued, praising the monarch for her “faith, so often and so eloquently proclaimed in her public messages, [which] has been an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many.”

Cardinal Nichols referenced the Queen’s Christmas address to the British people and Commonwealth in 2000, in which she sought to “reflect more directly and more personally” on the source of the Millennium celebrations that year.

“Christmas is the traditional, if not the actual, birthday of a man who was destined to change the course of our history. And today we are celebrating the fact that Jesus Christ was born two thousand years ago; this is the true Millennium anniversary,” she reminded millions of viewers and listeners, adding that “the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.”

Cardinal Nichols is not the only prominent Catholic to praise the Queen’s faith, with Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, having described her as “an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch” on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

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