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Cardinal to pray at Trafalgar Square Vigil

posted on 13 July 2005
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor will attend a mass vigil in Trafalgar Square on Thursday to pray for the victims of last week's bombings and to make clear that the name of God is peace.

In a radio interview on Wednesday, he described the revelation that last week’s atrocities were committed by British suicide bombers as “extremely alarming”. He also called for Muslim leaders to be supported to isolate extremist elements in their communities.

He said the country was banding together against violence. “Already the people of this country feel more united because of this atrocity,” he told Simon Mayo during an hour-long phone-in programme on BBC Radio Five Live.

He also spoke of the unity with Londoners he felt while travelling on the Bakerloo and Victoria lines yesterday.

“There was I, with other Londoners, and a bit of me felt I was glad to be with other Londoners continuing my work just as they are continuing theirs, and aware that something terrible happened on the Underground a week ago, but saying we are not going to be deterred by it.”

He went on:

“There is no doubt that what happened a week ago, carried out by suicide bombers from within our own communities, is extremely alarming. It’s only right that all of us should be aware of this, and be wary, but also determined not to let it distract us from our normal lives.”

Other comments by the Cardinal from the radio show:

1. “We have to say, as church leaders, that God allows these terrible things to happen, but that he is a loving God, and we have to put our trust in him.”

2. “We share a common humanity. To those who agonise at a time like this, waiting for news of their relatives, I want them to know of my understanding, and prayers that God will console them”.

3. “It’s valuable for national leaders of the different faiths to speak together and express what they have done – their horror at the atrocity, and their determination that violence will not prevail. There are also leaders in local communities, in the cities and towns of our country, that faith leaders should meet, so that local communities can be aware of their abhorrence of this violence. Muslim leaders will be urged to root out the extremist elements in their community.”

4. “There must not be a reaction against the Muslim community in this country. The vast majority want to be good citizens and lead peaceful lives. They must not be blamed or ostracised in any way.”

5. “The Christian creed, at its heart, is a revelation of a God of justice and mercy, a God who seeks peace and reconciliation. Muslims also believe in a God who is almighty and merciful, and does not exhort people to commit murder.”
Notes:
Notes for editors: 1. The Vigil at Trafalgar Square is being organised by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the TUC. It aims to show that “London will not be moved from our goal of building an open, tolerant, multi-racial and multi-cultural society showing the world its future,” said the Mayor, Ken Livingstone. He said the vigil would be to remember those who had died and to thank “the heroes of the transport and emergency services who saved so many lives last Thursday.” 2. The Cardinal will also observe two minutes’ silence in the company of the Lord Mayor of Westminster in the piazza outside Westminster Cathedral at midday tomorrow. 3. See Cardinal’s comments and homilies in reaction to tragedy at www.rcdow.org.uk
Contact Details:
Austen Ivereigh
Director for Public Affairs
Telephone: 020 7798 9045 or 07905 224860
posted on 13 July 2005

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