Referring to a statement issued by the late MP’s family, Alton added: “People of faith — from all the great religions — and people of no faith must work much harder to create a more respectful society which honors difference.”
“Too often we have been in denial about the sources of the hateful threats to the foundation of a liberal, open, pluralistic society.”
“As David’s horrific death demonstrates, notwithstanding all the good in the world we still have the capacity to do truly evil things.”
Boris Johnson, the first baptized Catholic to become the British prime minister, said in the House of Commons on Oct. 18 that politics needed people like Sir David, who was “dedicated, passionate, firm in his beliefs but never anything less than respectful for those who thought differently.”
Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said: “In the last few days, there have been many tributes to Sir David, from politicians of all parties, from his constituents and members of the public, from friends and from family, and from faith leaders, especially the Catholic Church, of which he was such a devoted follower.”
“Each tribute paints its own picture — of a committed public servant, of kindness, and of a man whose decency touched everybody that he met. Taken together, these tributes are a powerful testimony to the respect, the affection, and, yes, the love that David was held in across politics and across different communities. Together, they speak volumes about the man that he was and the loss that we grieve.”
Mike Kane, a Catholic Labour MP, suggested that the House of Commons should pass an “Amess amendment,” guaranteeing priests access to administer the last rites. He was referring to the outcry after a priest was turned away from the crime scene by police.
He said: “He did not die a martyr, but he died, as has been said, doing the things he loved and helping constituents. He would have known that the theologian Karl Rahner said that power is a gift from God. That portcullis on the top of our letterheads gives us all that power, whether on the Front Bench, in opposition or on the Back Benches. Let us recommit to Sir David today that we will use that power for the common good.”
“He died on the feast of St Teresa of Ávila. She said this, famously: ‘May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.’”
“David used those gifts, and he passed on that love.”
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He concluded: “Sir David, may the choirs of angels come to greet you. May they lead you to paradise. May the Lord enfold you in his mercy. May he grant you eternal life. Eternal rest give to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
Sir Bill Cash, a Catholic who has served as a Conservative MP since 1984, noted that he and Amess had led parallel political lives.
Writing for the Catholic Herald, he said that “Catholicism meant everything” to Amess.
“Writing to the Herald recently in relation to his most recent book, he said: ‘My Catholic faith has sustained me through my period as a Member of Parliament, guiding me in all aspects of my life. I have been a staunch advocate for animal welfare and a vocal supporter of the pro-life movement,’” Cash noted.
Other colleagues paid tribute to Amess on the day of his death.
The Catholic MP Sir Edward Leigh wrote on his Twitter account on Oct. 15 that he was “devastated at the cruel loss of my friend David with whom I entered Parliament together 38 years ago.”