Cardinal's Message to Mrs Fatayi-Williams
posted on 23 July 2005
Dear Mr and Mrs Fatayi-Williams,
I am so sorry that I am unable to be with you to express personally my deepest sympathy with you both on the tragic death of your son, Anthony. His many friends and relatives have come to pay tribute to him, to comfort and console you, helping you to understand that his life was a generous gift of God, a gift which you nurtured and honoured. The pain of Anthony’s loss is very great indeed; no words can express it. But within the pain of his loss is also the joy of knowing how Anthony touched the lives of so many others. That is why, as you mourn, you will also celebrate.
I want to say a word especially to you, Marie, at this time, to thank you for the extraordinary witness to Jesus Christ which you have given the world in the days since knowing of Anthony’s disappearance.
You have spoken of Anthony as a sacrificial victim whose sacrifice must not be allowed to be in vain. You have spoken of plans to forge, in his name, bonds of forgiveness and understanding across the borders of hate and miscomprehension; and you have spoken, movingly, of the need to reject violence, of the obligation to resist hatred of the perpetrators of the appalling acts which disfigured London on 7 July. By your words you have set before us all a beacon of light to guide our response to terrorism, now and in the coming months.
I will pray for the repose of Anthony’s soul. And I will pray that you continue to show the resilience and compassion which you have exhibited in these days, in order that Anthony’s cruel death may indeed bear fruit in the recognition of God’s boundless love and mercy. May Anthony, and all of you here present, continue to sow the seeds of the peace that the world without faith cannot give.
With deepest sympathy and the assurances of my prayers,
Yours devotedly in Christ,
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor