Bishop Lang sends condolence message to Iraqi memorial ceremony

Bishop Declan Lang

Bishop Declan Lang

Bishop Declan Lang, Chairman of the International Affairs Department of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, sent the following message to the Al-Khoei Foundation in London who organised a special ceremony on Saturday,  to remember victims of recent terrorist attacks throughout the world, in particular the horrific massacre, which targeted people worshipping at Sayedat al Nejat Church (Our Lady of Salvation) in Baghdad on Sunday 31 October. The ceremony took place at the Al-Khoei Foundation in London.

Bishop Declan said: “Although I regret I am unable to be with you at this commemoration ceremony, I want to add my prayers and condolences to those being offered this evening for all the victims of hatred, discrimination and intolerance who have suffered in the past few weeks, let alone months and years, and particularly those who perished in the recent massacre at our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad.

“The presence here of so many people from different traditions, adding their prayers for the men, women and children killed in Iraq, is itself a powerful faith-centred sign that love will ultimately triumph over hatred and that we will not allow ourselves to be divided by those who seek to pit the faiths against each other. On behalf of my fellow Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, I want to express my appreciation for the solidarity you have shown with all those who have experienced persecution because of their beliefs.”

Organisations participating in the ceremony include: Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, Syriac Orthodox Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, Assyrian General Conference, Greek Catholic Church of Lebanon, Awareness Foundation, Supreme Shiite Islamic Council of Lebanon and Leicester Central Mosque.

The Syrian Catholic Church in London held a service of remembrance on Friday. See: London's Iraqi community united in grief at memorial service Archbishop Vincent Nichols will celebrate Mass commemorating those who died in the massacre on Friday 26 November at 7pm in Westminster Cathedral.

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