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Pope Praises Queen Elizabeth's Vision As 'Christian Monarch' On Diamond Jubilee

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has praised Queen Elizabeth II's "noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch" in a note congratulating her on her diamond jubilee.

In a message released Wednesday by the Vatican, Benedict said the British monarch has over the past 60 years been an "inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy."

He also said she has played an important role in improving ecumenical and interreligious relations. Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England.

The four-day celebration marking Elizabeth's diamond jubilee ended Tuesday.

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