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Daily Archives: 06/19/2010

British archbishop urges Catholic faithful to 'support' Holy Father during visit

Archbishop Vincent Nichols

London, England, Jun 18, 2010 / 02:02 pm (CNA).- In remarks to a journalist on the Holy Father’s upcoming visit to the U.K., Archbishop Vincent Nichols of the Diocese of Westminster urged the Catholic faithful to “get behind the Pope and support him.”

The archbishop also discussed the upcoming beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman during the Pope’s trip in September and underlined the significance of his Holiness meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.

Archbishop Nichols spoke to Anna Arco, a prominent local journalist who’s blog is associated with the U.K.’s Catholic Herald.

During his remarks, the prelate emphasized the “historic” aspect of the Pope’s visit, and the significance of the Pontiff being officially greeted by the country’s monarch. This, he claimed, should quell the idea by some that England is anti-Catholic.

“I think the historic nature of the Pope visiting this country as a state visit is quite astonishing,” Archbishop Nichols asserted. “It’s obviously the first time in history at the opening of the visit to see the Queen and the Pope together. The Queen is the first person to welcome him to this country.”

“I hope that many of our easy assumptions will be a little bit shaken, that somehow there is an intense antagonism to Catholicism in this country.”

“That is not what the picture will show,” he stressed. “The picture will show a monarch who is held in huge esteem by everybody making sure that this Pope, the Bishop of Rome is warmly welcomed into this society. I think that is so important that nobody should underestimate it.”

“From a Catholic view,” he added, “I think what is most important is that we understand the delicacy of the mission the Pope has taken on in coming to address British society with the gift of Christian faith.”

“Because we are very aware of the delicacy of the moment of strong voices raised in opposition for any role for religious faith in our society and here is the Pope who is such an eloquent exponent of the gift of faith coming right into the midst of this multi-faith, multicultural, complex, at times aggressively secular, society.”

“So Catholics, really, I invite them to get behind the Pope and support him,” the archbishop urged. “There are many ways of doing this, with prayer, through the financial contributions that have already been made and of course if its possible to get to see the Pope personally in some of the big events.”

Discussing the beatification of Cardinal Newman, the prelate was asked by Arco why he is focusing in particular on the late theologian’s pastoral work above other things.

“Cardinal Newman is a rich and quite complex character,” he explained. “I think he is well known in some circles as an academic. He is known in some circles as a poet and a man of culture. But there is a strand of pastoral care that runs consistently through his life and it started when he was a young tutor in Oxford and he saw the purpose of education was to care for the whole person and not simply be the acquisition of knowledge.”

“And that underlying gold thread of pastoral care is, I think, not often enough focused upon.”

“And considering that we are just ending the Year for Priests,” the prelate noted, “I think it’s a remarkable grace that it is an English parish priest should be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI and I wouldn’t want that dimension of Newman to be forgotten or overlooked.”

On the visit as a whole, Archbishop Nichols said that what he hopes for “is that the gentleness and the readiness to engage in dialogue that is so characteristic of Pope Benedict will come across.”

“And in this I think television coverage will help a great deal because here is a man who is most impressive when you sit down and talk to him face to face,” he said.

“One of the great advantages of television is that it brings the face close to us and I think with that help, People will see the utter integrity of this man who is at peace in his faith, not afraid of difficult questions, not afraid of difficult challenges and will engage with us in a way that I think will be a significant contribution to our shared life.”

Defiant De Gaulle War Broadcast Remembered

A French General (L) gives a helping hand to a British World War II veteran (C) ahead of a parade in front of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British PM David Cameron in London, 18 Jun 2010
A French General (L) gives a helping hand to a British World War II veteran (C) ahead of a parade in front of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British PM David Cameron in London, 18 Jun 2010

June 18, 2010

(VOA)  Seventy years to the day, Charles de Gaulle’s historic broadcast signaling the beginning of the French Resistance movement during World War II was remembered.  On June 18, 1940,  Mr. de Gaulle opened his microphone in London in a radio transmission sent to occupied France.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Britain to mark the anniversary.

History was remembered Friday at the building housing the radio headquarters of the BBC in central London.  It was there, at Broadcasting House, on this date in 1940 that General de Gaulle fired an opening verbal salvo against the Nazis, when he urged his fellow countrymen and women to resist their German occupiers.

Using emotive language, the general said, “Whatever happens, the flame of the French Resistance must not and will not be extinguished.”

Mr. De Gaulle had just escaped from France with some of his men, and they knew a long, difficult road lay ahead.

Remembering those tough days, French President Sarkozy and his wife, Carla, visited the very studio where Mr. de Gaulle uttered his words.

Mr. Sarkozy expressed his eternal gratitude to the British.

The French president then moved on to a wreath-laying ceremony at the location where Mr. de Gaulle coordinated the resistance from his wartime offices. Mr. Sarkozy was joined by Prince Charles.

Mr. Sarkozy also held talks with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who said the general’s speech had everything to do with one word: hope.

“Seventy years ago, when darkness was creeping across our continent, when the shadow of tyranny was stretching over France, a flame of hope was lit, not very far from here by General de Gaulle,” said Cameron.

In addition to the sense of history, Mr. Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron also discussed the pressing issues of the day over lunch at 10 Downing Street, including shared priorities over defense and a unified approach to the tough economic climate.

Sarkozy marks historic de Gaulle war broadcast in UK


Lady Soames, daughter of Britain’s former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, Britan’s Prime Minister David Cameron, Sarkozy’s wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and David Cameron’s wife Samantha Cameron attend a ceremony during his visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea on June 18, 2010, in London, England.

(BBC)   French President Nicolas Sarkozy has completed a visit to London marking the 70th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s defiant wartime broadcast.

After visiting the BBC radio studio where the general urged France to resist the Nazis, he expressed “eternal gratitude” for Britain’s war effort.

Mr Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni met the Prince of Wales to lay wreaths at Gen de Gaulle’s statue.

The president and British PM David Cameron also met 200 WWII veterans.

‘Shoulder to shoulder’

During a ceremony at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Mr Sarkozy told them he brought the “brotherly greetings and eternal gratitude of the French people” who remembered what Britain had “accomplished… for our freedom”.

He also awarded the Legion d’Honneur to six of the veterans – three of them British – who took part in the Operation Dragoon landings in Provence in August 1944.


Peter Biles
Peter Biles,
BBC world affairs correspondent

There was a buzz of excitement outside Broadcasting House as President Sarkozy and his wife Carla arrived at the BBC’s headquarters in Portland Place.

Staff had been busy since dawn making final preparations for the French leader’s visit.

Inside the Artists’ Lobby, the president was shown a wartime microphone and famous tapestry, La Poete, by Jean Lurcat.

Described as a powerful metaphor for broadcasting and freedom, it was given to the BBC by the French government as a thank you for the World War II broadcasts.

The Broadcasting House complex – under redevelopment – is a very different place to when Gen de Gaulle entered studio 4B on 18 June 1940.

The truth is not many people heard that original broadcast, but many more followed.

Few, however, are in any doubt that “L’Appel du 18 Juin” was a turning point in modern French history.

Sarkozy talks at No 10 ‘warm’

Mr Cameron said the anniversary was a “reminder that Britain and France are not just neighbours in the geographical sense but also in the emotional sense”.

He said he was committed to working with France to face “huge challenges”.

“Just as our two great countries stood together in the past, so we must stand shoulder to shoulder today,” he said.

The leaders’ arrival at the home of the Chelsea Pensioners was greeted with a flypast of a Spitfire, Typhoon and French Air Force Rafale.

Troops from the Household Cavalry Mounted Detachment attended the hospital while bands played the two countries’ anthems.

A student from the Charles de Gaulle school in London then read the general’s speech to Mr Sarkozy.

The UK visit began at BBC Broadcasting House, where Mr Sarkozy unveiled a plaque and viewed a tapestry presented in thanks to the BBC by France after World War II.

The president then met Prince Charles at Clarence House before laying wreaths at the statue of George VI on the Mall.

More wreaths were then laid at Gen de Gaulle’s statue, near the headquarters of the Free French forces during the war.

Limited audience

Mr Cameron also held an hour of talks with Mr Sarkozy at Downing Street, focused on efforts to boost European growth, the conflict in Afghanistan and other foreign policy matters.

In total about 800 people from the Charles de Gaulle Foundation, the Free French Foundation and other groups visited London to join events.

Many had made the journey on a specially chartered Eurostar.


Charles de Gaulle's broadcast on 18 June 1940
  • Gen de Gaulle fled France on 17 June 1940 as a new administration sought an armistice with Hitler
  • The next evening he urged the French to fight on in a BBC radio address from Broadcasting House
  • Britain had turned his request to broadcast down, but the decision was reversed after PM Winston Churchill intervened
  • To the general’s fury, his speech was not recorded, so he returned four days later to deliver his message again

Blog: Head of BBC History on visit Speech changed fate of France

Mr Sarkozy’s visit was the first by a French president to mark Gen de Gaulle’s broadcast on 18 June 1940.

The general had fled his country the day before as a new administration, headed by Philippe Petain, sought an armistice with Hitler.

In the stirring radio appeal Gen de Gaulle declared himself leader of the “Free French”, spawning the French Resistance, which went on to play a crucial role in defeating the Germans.

He told his nation that “the flame of the French resistance must not and will not be extinguished”.

Posters displaying his words were put up all over London in the days that followed the broadcast, to galvanise French exiles.

Gen de Gaulle was given a hero’s welcome after the liberation of Paris in August 1944, but historians point out that he was not seen as a saviour in 1940.

They say his now revered broadcast went almost unnoticed at the time, with a very limited audience on the BBC French Service.

Mr Sarkozy made a state visit to the UK with his supermodel-turned-singer wife in March 2008.

Original Beatles' Lyrics Fetch $1.2 Million at Auction


June 18, 2010

(CNBC)  The lyrics to the final song on the classic Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” have sold for $1.2 million at a New York City auction.

John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to “A Day in the Life” were purchased Friday by a private American collector, bidding by phone at the Sotheby’s sale.

The pre-sale estimate was $500,000 to $800,000.

The double-sided sheet of paper features Lennon’s edits and corrections. It’s written in black felt marker and blue ball point pen, with a few annotations in red ink.

Rolling Stone magazine listed “A Day in the Life” at No. 26 in its compilation of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “Sgt. Pepper” won four Grammy awards in 1968.