Group to study the access of priests to scenes of traumatic violence

Photo by Oliver Hale on Unsplash

Source: House of the Archbishops

Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick have agreed to work together to establish a joint group to study the access given, or denied, to Catholic priests to scenes of traumatic violence. In particular, the group will examine whether it is necessary to modify the guidance given to agents confronted with such situations.

It comes after the murder of MP Sir David Amess during a constituency operation at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex on Friday, October 15, 2021.

Cardinal Nichols revealed the decision in a brief statement after greeting Commissioner Cressida Dick ahead of the Catholic Police Guild’s annual Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral.

Mass was held on Tuesday, November 9 after a year-long hiatus due to Covid restrictions, and was celebrated by the Bishop of Brentwood, the Right Reverend Alan Williams SM – the Guild’s new liaison to of the Episcopal Conference.

In his statement, Cardinal Nichols said: “I welcome the police officers from so many different parts of the country to this Mass in which we remember and pray for your deceased colleagues. I extend a special welcome to Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Service.

“I want to thank you all for the service you render to the people of this country, often under the most difficult circumstances and with the many challenges you face.

“In recent times, questions have arisen about the access granted or denied to Catholic priests to scenes of traumatic violence, such as the violent death of Sir David Amess. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner and I have agreed to create a joint group to study this issue. question and whether changes are needed to the instructions given to officers facing such a situation.

“I am grateful to the Commissioner for this agreement and I am convinced that he will help establish a useful path in this matter of considerable sensitivity and importance for the Catholic community.

The Mass was offered to commemorate and pray for those police service members who lost their lives and brought together representatives of police forces from across the country, serving and retired, as well as several chaplains and members of the guild.

Key words: Police, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Commissioner Cressida Dick, Police Guild, Sir David Amess

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