Recent Addresses and Pastoral Letters

Introduction at the National Memorial Service for victims of flight MH17 - Thursday 7 August 2014

INTRODUCTION 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.
 
In 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 fellow Australians.
 
Similarly, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the personal representative of Pope Francis in Australia is joined by distinguished Church and religious leaders.

Our 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.

The 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.

The “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.

These 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.

Here 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.

With 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.

Our sense of loss will never die – but the hope and courage which come from their sharing in our lives will give us hope.

May 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.

 

 

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