The Christianity of Margaret Thatcher

April 10, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Christianity of Margaret ThatcherApril 08, 2013: Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher who died today was not a Catholic and, according to those closest to her, never had any wish to cross the Tiber.

But she was well known for having friendly relations with Blessed John Paul II whom she greatly admired. She laid flowers at his tomb on a vist to the Vatican in 2009 and was overheard remarking that if weren’t for the great Polish pope, Soviet Communism wouldn’t have fallen.

Moreover, Baroness Thatcher’s political principles were largely formed by her Christian faith and in particular her Methodist upbringing.

In an interview with the Register a couple of years ago, John O’Sullivan, a close Catholic friend and former advisor to the late Prime Minister, explained what her faith meant to her. One of her best characteristics, he said, was her sense of hope:

“She was, in a sense, optimistic. But I prefer the word “hope,” because optimism is a disposition and very often a silly and foolish one. But Mrs. Thatcher was somebody who recognized that an element in hope is effort. You don’t just hope something’s going to happen; you embark on projects in a hopeful way. Of course, you rely on the grace of God, but anyway, you have to do something, and I think all three of them [Reagan, John Paul II and Thatcher] were in that frame of mind. You could accomplish great things, with the help of God, but also you have to put your back into it.”

In a 1974 speech to the Church of Scotland, Margaret Thatcher, then a rising star in Britain’s Conservative Party, spoke eloquently about Christianity and politics, offering insights and reflections every bit as relevant to today’s politics as they were then. Here are some excerpts:

“I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come again unless you nurture the roots.”

“We must not profess the Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour; but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ.”

– edward pentin

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