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PNG archbishop seeks prayers for murdered Anglican Melanesian Brothers

Catholic Dioceses in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have been asked to renew prayer this week for the six Melanesian Brothers and other victims of violence in the Solomon Islands.

It appears that the Melanesian Brothers were killed when they went to the Weather Coast in the Solomon Isalnds in an attempt to find other members of their society.

Archbishop Karl Hesse MSC, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, said news of the murders the Anglican brothers came as the Catholic Church prepared for the annual pilgrimage to St Paul's in the Bainings on Wednesday.

Speaking from Rabaul Archbishop Hesse said: "We are deeply saddened by the realisation that such evil could be done to people who dedicated their lives to the service of others".

"This week we are remembering the Bainings Martyrs, a group of 10 Catholic brothers, sisters and priests together with a number of lay people, who were killed in East New Britain 99 years ago," he said. "The loss, now reported, of these six brothers reminds us of the sacrifices so willingly made by so many people in serving their vocations."

Archbishop Hesse offered condolences to Anglican communities in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands on behalf of the Catholic Church.

He said: "We join with the Anglican Communion in admiring the spirit of these men, who apparently gave their lives for their brothers.

Bosco News Network

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15 Aug 2003