Follow Sir David’s lead and ‘fight evil with good,’ says Pope Francis.
THE POPE urged those mourning Sir David Amess to be encouraged by his “dedicated service” over the years.
At a funeral mass for the late Conservative MP at Westminster Cathedral, His Holiness read a message.
Three previous prime ministers were among the senior politicians who paid their respects to Sir David’s family, which included his widow Lady Julia and their five children.
Last month, during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, Sir David, 69, a fervent Catholic, was fatally stabbed.
Pope Francis sent his “heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to the Amess family,” according to Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain.
“His Holiness remembers Sir David’s years of dedicated public service with gratitude,” he added.
Pope Francis said the MP, who has served in the Basildon and Southend West constituencies since 1983, was guided by his faith and expressed his “great compassion for the underprivileged and disadvantaged.”
His message urged mourners to “fight evil with good,” as Sir David had done.
“The Holy Father prays that everyone who remember him will be strengthened in their desire to reject the methods of violence, to oppose evil with good, and to contribute to the building of a society of ever greater justice, fraternity, and solidarity,” it continued.
Ann Widdecombe, a former Conservative MP and close friend of Sir David’s, delivered a moving eulogy that highlighted the causes he championed as well as his wicked sense of humour.
Ms Widdecombe recounted her friend’s fondness for practical jokes and the day he rode his horse into the Houses of Parliament.
She stated Sir David’s death still had “a big air of unreality about it” ahead of the mass.
“It’s unavoidable if you lose a buddy abruptly and in bad circumstances,” she continued. We’re all scratching our heads, wondering why. Nobody can tell you why, I believe.
“Obviously, I’m sorry, but it’s a wonderful event to have so many people come to pay their respects to David and to celebrate his life today.”
“I don’t want David to be remembered for how he died; instead, I want him to be remembered for how he lived and the reasons for which he fought.”
“Today is a day to reflect on what he done for others.” Lady Julia, the widow of the long-serving MP, was accompanied by her son David and daughters Katie, Sarah, Alexandra, and Florence.
Boris Johnson has joined the group. “Brinkwire News Summary.”