Independent Catholic News logo Welcome Visitor
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Forces bishop welcomes release of captured sailors
Comment Email Print
¬†The Right Reverend Tom Burns issued the following statement this morning First of all, I am absolutely delighted at the news from Iran today that they intend to release our sailors and marines. My delight will be shared certainly by the 15 naval personnel themselves, as well as by their Navy colleagues who know them so well, and by their families, friends, and loved ones. There will also be a degree of quiet satisfaction among the diplomatic community that they have brought this crisis to a satisfactory end. This is a great moment, but the greater moment will come when we see the Navy personnel arrive home safe and sound. Those held in Iran always sought to act with dignity and integrity despite the pressure that they were under. They did not guard their dignity so much as they let their dignity guard them. They themselves have been at the forefront of the negotiations by the way that they have conducted themselves with professionalism and calm. They assisted in advancing the negotiations going on behind the scenes. President Ahmadinejad speaks of FORGIVENESS. This may be a little puzzling, unless we might understand that it has always been the Iranians' accusation that Britain violated their territorial waters. That's what the Iranians have believed all along. So, if that is the case they are putting forward, then by their own standards, the standards enshrined in their religion, they have then chosen to put their faith into action to resolve the situation. Faith in a forgiving God has been exemplified in action by their good deeds. They are offering to release the sailors and marines, not just as the result of diplomacy, but also as an act of mercy in accordance with their religion. Over the past two weeks, there has been a unity of purpose between Britain and Iran, whereby everyone has sought justice and forgiveness where that is appropriate. Repentance has a common root in each religion. A couple of days ago, I appealed to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in the name of his nation and in the name of Islam, to show generosity and return the sailors and marines to their ship. We all profess to hold a faith that comes from Abraham ≠ the Father of all Nations. We all adore the one, merciful God, who will be mankind's judge on the last day. All nations form one community: we come from the one God who created us, and we will return to the one God as our common destiny. This is another aspect of a unity of purpose on both sides. But while we are on this earth, God asks us to provide for one another, to practise goodness towards our neighbour, and to look to the well-being of everyone who comes our way, anticipating that day when all will gather in the holy city of God. This Holy City is where the world is reconciled. It is my fervent hope that the lessons we will all learn from this incident are that: - prayers in faith are answered - anxiety can provide a trigger for good - violations of sea- and air-space happen all the time, even around Britain, and the intruders are sent on their way. But it is important to keep a cool head so that these sensitive occasions depend on a unity of purpose to bring about a realistic and speedy solution. - charts and treaties need constant updating in order to avoid any confusion and misunderstanding - we are all called to share the limited resources available in this world for the benefit of all - there is a goodness within mankind that can triumph over every difficulty ≠ as is eminently shown by this Holy Week in which we find ourselves. For whether we are Christian or Moslem, we profess to hold a faith that comes from Abraham ≠ the Father of all Nations. We adore the one, merciful God, who will be mankind's judge on the last day. All nations form one community. We come from the one God who created us, and we will return to the one God as our common destiny. One day we will all be gathered in the holy city of God, where there will be perfect peace and harmony, and everyone will be reconciled. In an important way, today represents building some of that city today in our midst.
Share:  Bookmark and Share
Tags: None


Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: