Leeds Bishop calms stunned locals

Following discoveries about the identity of suspects in last week's London bombing made in the northern English city Leeds over the last 48 hours, Bishop Arthur Roche has told Catholics not to presume that members of the community are terrorist sympathisers.

Bishop Roche (pictured) spoke to local residents, the media and members of the emergency services, and visited an Islamic Centre to meet with leaders from the different faiths.

He first of all went down through the Burley Road area where property had been raided and upwards of 500 residents had been made homeless overnight.

"Recent days have shown us their constant courage and tenacity in the face of a most appalling atrocity," he said in a statement. "It would be grossly wrong and inaccurate, however, to presume that any section of our society to which the perpetrators of the London bombings belonged were themselves either terrorist sympathisers or in any way to blame for the actions of a few highly criminal and deluded people."

He urged the community to join together like "good Yorkshire folk".

"It is a community to which many people from different backgrounds and cultures rightfully belong," he said. "We must not forget the power of prayer for peace and well-being at this time."

Meanwhile the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, will join other faith and community leaders in Trafalgar Square this evening to remember the victims of last week's bombings and their grieving families.

In Australia, the Catholic Leader reports that Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane wrote to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster on July 8, expressing his sympathy.

"Be assured the people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane will be praying for you in the days ahead," he wrote.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne told the Leader that he hope people praying for the victims "will also include an intention for the perpetrators that they may rethink these awful acts."

Bishop Roche meets the people of Leeds (Catholic Church in England and Wales 13/7/05)
Statement from Bishop of Leeds (Catholic Church in England and Wales 13/7/05)
Cardinal to pray at Trafalgar Square Vigil (Catholic Church in England and Wales 13/7/05)
Australian sympathy (Catholic Leader 17/7/05)
Muslim Leader Backs Pope's Plea to Terrorists (Zenit 12/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Leeds

14 Jul 2005