Cardinal O'Malley offers condolences on passing of Queen Elizabeth

BRAINTREE -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley added his voice to the many religious and civic leaders around the world offering their condolences after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8.

On Sept. 9, the cardinal released a statement about the late queen of the United Kingdom, who he said has been "one of the most well-known and loved people throughout the world" through the decades.

"She was a woman of profound faith, humanity, and wisdom who embodied the highest values of the British people. As the head of state and the leader of the Anglican Church, she led the country with dignity, compassion, and courage for 70 years," Cardinal O'Malley said.

He called her "a source of stability and a symbol of strength for Britain and throughout the world." He went on to say that she was "a beacon of hope during times of war, famine, and strife."

He noted that during her 70-year reign, the queen had visited over 100 countries, hosted over 100 state visits, and met 13 U.S. presidents, four popes, and "countless other leaders of governments, businesses, and nonprofits."

"Having gone home to God, Queen Elizabeth now joins her beloved husband Prince Philip in the heavenly embrace of our Lord," Cardinal O'Malley said.

He extended condolences to the queen's family and all the British people mourning "this consequential woman who served with grace and charity for seven decades."

Cardinal O'Malley also reflected on the queen's life and her role as the head of state in his Sept. 9 blog entry.

He recalled watching her coronation on television in 1953, and seeing it again in newsreels at the movies. He acknowledged that Queen Elizabeth was "probably the person who is most well known" in the world as the head of state and her image being used in stamps and currency throughout the world.

Cardinal O'Malley praised her service as head of state and contrasted it to the U.S. system in which the president is both chief executive and head of state.

"At times, partisan politics can make it very difficult for a president to serve as that symbol that unites people. That is certainly the role that Queen Elizabeth filled very well," he said.

The cardinal promised prayers for the queen and for the transition that her death will bring to the United Kingdom.