BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT THE
NATIONAL MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE
VICTIMS OF FLIGHT MH17 AT SAINT
PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON THURSDAY,
7TH AUGUST 2014 AT 10.30 A.M.
welcoming you to this special Memorial Service, I recognise especially the
leadership of His Excellency the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor
General and Lady Cosgrove, the Honourable Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, the
Honourable Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, distinguished Members of
Parliament, Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
His Excellency the High Commissioner for Malaysia, Community Leaders, and
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the personal representative of Pope Francis in
Australia is joined by distinguished Church and religious leaders.
hearts go out to the family members of those who have died – we assure them of
our love and support at this special moment.
We will all
remember where we were when the cruel horror of barbarism confronted our world
on Thursday 17th July.
horror of this barbaric act is worthy of strong condemnation and has unleashed
cries of pain and anguish from families and friends of victims, nations and
their peoples alike.
“Why” of terror, the incredulity, and the condemnation of the perpetrators gave
way to an avalanche of compassion, love and prayer for those so burdened; the 38
Australians - some fellow Victorians - out of a total loss of life from Holland,
Malaysia and our land.
acts cry to heaven for vengeance as a torrent of mercy and love came from our
God and fellow human beings alike. Jesus
who said: “Come to me all you who labour
and are burdened, and I will give you rest”, offers strength comfort, warmth
and care, to the bereaved and their families.
in Melbourne today, regardless of origin or creed, we stand in solidarity with
those who are suffering unimaginable loss; we commit ourselves to walk with
them in the days ahead in love, resolve and prayer.
them we honour their bodies lost to us, while we acknowledge that the human
spirit does not perish – and is made for resurrection on the final day when we
will be reunited. Their gifts and their
memories remain with us always.
sense of loss will never die – but the hope and courage which come from their
sharing in our lives will give us hope.
they rest in the peace and light of eternity and may comfort and hope be given
to all who know their loss.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.