Benedict XVl thanks Ordinariate

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVl -  who was born in Bavaria - has said he is particularly glad that the Ordinariate's central church in London, Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, is on the site of the chapel of the former Bavarian embassy.

The present church was built in the late eighteenth century to replace the former Bavarian chapel there which was pillaged during the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780.

The Pope Emeritus made his comment in a letter of response to one he had received from the chairman of the Friends of the Ordinariate, a charity set up to support the Ordinariate's work.

With his letter to the Pope Emeritus, the Friends' chairman, Nicolas Ollivant, had enclosed a brief history of the church in Warwick Street. Mr Ollivant had also thanked Benedict XVl for the gift of the Ordinariate and assured him of the prayers of its members.

The full reply of the Pope Emeritus, translated from German by Fr Daniel Lloyd of the Ordinariate, reads as follows:

"Since I know that you read the German language without difficulty, I may answer your friendly letter of 1 September in my mother tongue, since my English would not quite suffice to do so.

Your thanks for the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has greatly moved me, and I ask you to convey my thanks to all its members.

Naturally, I am particularly glad that the former Bavarian Chapel has now become your Ordinariate's church, and serves such an important role in the whole Church of God.

It has been a long time since I have heard news of this holy place, and it was therefore with all the more interest and gratitude that I read the description with which you accompanied your letter.

Once more, many thanks, and may God bless you all.

Yours in the Lord,

Benedict XVI"