Memorial Mass in Vatican for assassinated British MP a year from his death
By Linda Bordoni
In his message of closeness and condolences that led tributes at a Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral on 23 November 2021, Pope Francis praised Sir David Amess for years of “devoted public service” before he was fatally stabbed in his constituency surgery on 15 October in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, southeast England.
One year later, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, celebrated a Memorial Mass for Sir David Amess MP, founder and first Chairman of The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, at the Irish Chapel in the Vatican Grottoes.
The Mass took place on Friday at the end of the three-day visit to the Vatican by The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, led by its co-chairs Sir Edward Leigh MP and Mike Kane MP, and marked the first anniversary of Sir David Amess’s tragic death. The All Party Group’s delegation was accompanied at the Mass by the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Christopher Trott.
The aim of The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See is to foster closer relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See, and to inform members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords about the global activities of the Holy See and the Catholic Church. It consists of representatives from both Houses of Parliament.
The special tribute signed on the Pope‘s behalf by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin for the Westminster Requiem in November 2021 read: “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 defence of God’s gift of life, and his efforts to foster understanding and co-operation with the Holy See in its universal mission."
He called for mourners’ resolve to be strengthened to “combat evil with good” and “build a society of ever greater justice.”
The Pope’s message was read by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain in a ceremony that took place after the funeral in Amess' Southend Constituency.
During that funeral service for the devout Catholic and father-of-five, his family pleaded to mourners "to set aside their differences and show love and kindness to all."
Two days after the assassination, Pope Francis decried the attack during his Angelus address, and issued an appeal in which he said “please, abandon the path of violence, which is always a loss, a defeat for everyone. Let us remember that violence begets violence."
Life sentence for Amess murderer
The man who stabbed Sir David Amess was immediately arrested and following his trial was sentenced to life in prison.
Ali Harbi Ali killed the MP after having joined the meeting pretending to be an NHS employee moving to the area.
He told the court he had plans to target various MPs and said he was a so-called Islamic State fanatic.
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