The Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark and Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has released a statement on the Manchester Arena attack.
Following the events that took place in Manchester Arena yesterday evening I would like to extend my sincere condolences to all the victims of this attack, in particular, those traumatised by the unexpected loss of relatives and friends.
There are no words sufficient for the grief of losing a family member and the devastating nature of this event surely serves only to increase that pain.
Although nothing can prepare us for such loss, I pray that you will find consolation in each other, and peace in the knowledge that Christ is there for all of you at every moment in your lives, no matter what you face. The Catholic community here offers its prayers for you and your loved ones today.
At this time, I encourage all people to renew their efforts to nurture respectful dialogue, with a view to fostering peace and trust in our communities. The answer is not in violence or arms, but in reaching out to others, openly discussing differences and endeavouring to forgive past actions. It is by these measures that we have the opportunity bring about the light of understanding and avert animosity.
I would like to add my thanks to all those who have already expressed their gratitude to the emergency services for their swift action and care for those caught up in this tragedy.
With assurance of my prayers
The Most Reverend Peter Smith
Archbishop of Southwark