Madrid's Cardinal Thanks Police for Anti-Terrorism Work

MADRID, Spain, APRIL 4, 2004 ( Madrid’s archbishop publicly thanked the state security forces for their «service to peace,» after an officer died in an operation against suspects linked to the March 11 terrorist attacks.

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Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela made his statement after a special forces officer was killed and 15 other law-enforcement personnel were wounded on Saturday as authorities cornered the suspects in a suburban apartment.

The alleged ringleader of last month’s train bombings and at least three other suspects blew themselves up rather than be arrested.

The cardinal and his auxiliary bishops expressed «once again their profound sorrow and their unconditional condemnation of terrorism.»

Their statement expressed condolences to the wife and children of the slain policeman, «and they pray to the Lord for his eternal repose, as well as for the recovery of the wounded, asking the Lord to give consolation and fortitude» to their dear ones.

The prelates hope that «these holy days of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ» will make «the seed of Love fructify, which has been manifested to us in the precious Blood of the Lord, who fills with strength and meaning that beautiful word — Mercy, the only source of authentic justice and true peace.»

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