British Cardinal Asks for Iraq Captives' Release

LONDON, DEC. 12, 2005 ( Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster appealed for the release of four Westerners kidnapped in Iraq.

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The archbishop made his appeal in a message sent to Pax Christi, one of the organizers of the prayer vigil being held today in Trafalgar Square, London, for the release of the hostages.

«I want to unite my prayers to yours as you remember in your vigil the four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams being held hostage in Iraq,» said the cardinal.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor assured the families of co-workers Norman Kember (of Great Britain) Tom Fox (of the United States), Harmeet Singh Sooden and James Loney (both of Canada) that «we are thinking of them, and praying, too, that the hearts of those who hold them be converted to the cause of peace and love.»

Christians and Muslims, peace organizations and other friends and supporters of Kember, the British peace activist abducted in Iraq, held a silent, candlelit prayer vigil later in the day in Trafalgar Square.

The group Swords of Righteousness Brigades says it abducted the four in Baghdad last month. It said it would kill the captives last Saturday if their demands were not met — but nothing further has emerged.

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