Pro-Life Catholic Politician Murdered in Church While Meeting with Constituents on Friday
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Sir David Amess -- Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Following the death of Sir David Amess MP as a result of a knife attack on Friday, October 15, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, England, said, “the tragic death of David Amess creates a painful loss in so many lives. I pray for him that he be welcomed into the merciful presence of Our Heavenly Father. I pray for his family and friends, those reeling from shock at this time. I pray for his constituents all those who worked with him in his political career..
Conservative MP Amess died after being stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery in Essex. Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after the attack at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, reported the BBC. They recovered a knife and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. A counter-terrorism team will lead the investigation.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his shock and sadness at the loss of “one of the kindest” people in politics.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs “with immediate effect”, a Home Office spokesman said.
Amess was a strong advocate of the sanctity of life, a devout Catholic, and had worked to strengthen relations between the UK and Vatican.
Sir David, 69, had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children. He is the second serving MP to be killed in the past five years, following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.
Here is Archbishop Nichols’ full statement:
“The tragic death of David Amess creates a painful loss in so many lives. I pray for him that he be welcomed into the merciful presence of Our Heavenly Father. I pray for his family and friends, those reeling from shock at this time. I pray for his constituents all those who worked with him in his political career.
“This death throws a sharp light onto the fact that our Members of Parliament are servants of the people, available to people in their need, especially in their constituencies. This horrific attack, as David was undertaking his constituency surgery, is an attack on our democratic process and traditions.
“David carried out his vocation as a Catholic in public life with generosity and integrity. He served in Parliament for four decades and was respected by all political parties across the House. His untimely death is a great loss.
“David Amess, as a Catholic, understood the role and importance of the Holy See. It was he who, in 2006, established the All-party Parliamentary Group for relations with Holy See Group, a Group including people from different faiths and beliefs. Over the years he led several parliamentary visits to Rome. He was instrumental in the historic visit of Pope Benedict to Parliament in 2010 and in the return visit by HMG representatives to Rome in the following year. He fostered this mutually respectful relationship through meetings with Cardinal Parolin, the Pope’s Secretary of State, and with other Catholic leaders. This contribution is both esteemed and will be sorely missed.
“I pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales