On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Most Rev Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark and Chair of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue, has released this statement on the shocking murder in Woolwich on 22 May:
“The events in Woolwich yesterday have shocked us all. First and foremost, our prayers are with Lee Rigby, his family and friends.
“At this time it is vital for people of all faiths to show real solidarity in their rejection of violence and in their commitment to peace. In particular it is vital that we build on the excellent relations we have between faith communities in this country, not least with the Muslim community.
“The words of Pope John Paul II in 1986 resound more clearly than ever: ‘Dialogue between Christians and Muslims is today more necessary than ever. It flows from our fidelity to God and supposes that we know how to recognise God by faith, and to witness to him by word and deed.’ That spirit of mutual respect is vital for the future.”
Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Office for Interreligious Dialogue
Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark