Cardinal calls Margaret Hassan 'martyr for goodness'
posted on 16 November 2004
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and Archbishop of Westminster has spoken of his 'sadness and horror' at the execution of the captive aid worker, Margaret Hassan.
Shortly after he heard the news, the Cardinal called her sister, Deirdre Manchanda, who is a parishioner living in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
'I can't tell you how sad I feel for you and your family,' he told her. 'Margaret is a martyr for goodness, truth and generosity. She dedicated her life to others; she will always be remembered for this.'
Describing the killing as 'a violation of the most basic value of Muslim mercy', he called for her body to be returned to her husband.
Last week the Cardinal appealed to Margaret Hassan's captors for mercy.
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool, Vice-president of the Bishops' Conference and a leading member of its International Affairs Department, said: 'The people of Liverpool will be holding Margaret and all those to whom she is dear in their prayers.'
Both the Cardinal and the Archbishop were speaking in Cardiff, where the bishops of England and Wales are meeting this week.