Cardinal Praises Post-Bombing Relief Efforts

Visits Temporary Mortuary in London

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LONDON, JULY 18, 2005 ( The archbishop of Westminster praised the tact and dedication of the police in dealing with the bereaved relatives of victims of the London terrorist bombings.

His remarks followed a visit by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor on Saturday to the temporary mortuary opened by police at the Honorable Artillery Company, City Road, on July 11, said Austen Ivereigh, a spokesman for the cardinal.

The mortuary contains the corpses and body parts of those killed in the explosions on three subway trains and a bus on July 7. At least 55 people died in the suicide attacks.

Relatives of the victims have been making their way to the mortuary, where they are received by volunteers. Some wished to see the remains; others preferred not to.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor praised the delicacy of the operation.

«I was hugely impressed by dedication of the police in such difficult circumstances, and the consolation offered to the bereaved,» he said.

Catholic victims

The cardinal described how the grieving relatives are taken into a quiet room and carefully listened to and supported.

«It could not have been done better,» he said. «I was very happy to go there to say thank you to those who are working there.»

Last week the archbishop of Westminster offered comfort to the Catholic families of two of the victims, 26-year-old Anthony Fatayi-Williams and 22-year-old Kieran Cassidy. Both of their funerals will take place this week. Messages from the cardinal will be read at both funerals.

The cardinal said he had been moved by his conversations with the relatives of the two victims.

«Our hearts go out to these families, who have lost their only sons,» he said. «I can only express my hope that God will console them at this time of huge pain and grief.»

Anthony Fatayi-Williams’ mother Marie is a Catholic whose Muslim husband is the grandson of the former chief justice of the Nigerian Federation, Atanda Fatayi-Williams.


Her pleas for peace following the news of her son’s death at the hands of terrorists have become emblematic of the message of the grieving families.

She said Sunday that she wanted to give Anthony’s death meaning by setting up a foundation in his honor. Provisionally named the Peace and Conflict Resolution Foundation, it will have bases in London and Marie Fatayi-Williams’ home country, Nigeria.

«I don’t want the spilling of my son’s blood to just pass like that,» the 50-year-old told the Observer newspaper.

She added: «If whatever I do will stop one child, one person, from being brainwashed into becoming a suicide bomber or terrorist from claiming an innocent life, then Anthony’s death will not be meaningless.»

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