The slain Catholic lawmaker Sir David Amess was remembered as “a true bridge-builder” at a Requiem Mass on Tuesday.
Preaching at the Mass at Westminster Cathedral, London, on Nov. 23, Canon Pat Browne said that even in death the veteran Member of Parliament brought people on opposing sides together.
“David was a true bridge-builder. To see the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition stand shoulder to shoulder in silence and prayer, paying their respects in Southend after his death, and have them reach across the chamber in unity and fellowship was something Parliament does not see very often,” said Canon Browne, the Parliamentary Roman Catholic Duty Priest since 2009.
“David’s death was the catalyst for everyone in Parliament realizing their oneness as a community working differently, but together, for the good of the nation in our world.”
Sir David, 69, was stabbed to death during a weekly meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Oct. 15.
The live-streamed Requiem Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. Mourners included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, members of the Cabinet, the former prime ministers Sir John Major, David Cameron, and Theresa May, and the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.
In a message read out by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, Pope Francis offered his “heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to the Amess family.”
“His Holiness recalls with gratitude Sir David’s years of devoted public service guided by his strong Catholic faith and evidenced in his deep concern for the poor and the disadvantaged, his commitment to the defense of God’s gift of life, and his efforts to foster understanding and cooperation with the Holy See in its universal mission,” said the message, sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Bishop Alan Williams of Brentwood, Sir David’s home diocese.
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