MELBOURNE Archbishop Denis Hart shared words of consolation and hope to grieving family members at a National Memorial Service for the victims of flight MH17 in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne on August 7.
“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,” Archbishop Hart said.
“We will all remember where we were when the cruel horror of barbarism confronted our world on Thursday, July 17.
“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 – 18 of our fellow Victorians – out of a total loss of life from Holland, Malaysia and our land.”
The MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on July 17, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove and the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife, Margie Abbott were among the 1800 dignitaries, politicians, families and friends who attended the multi-faith National Memorial Service.
Archbishop Hart said regardless of origin or creed, they stood in solidarity with those who were suffering unimaginable loss.
“We commit ourselves to walk with them in the days ahead in love, resolve and prayer,” he said.
“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.”
Prime Minister Abbott said it was not the day to judge the guilty but to honour the dead and grieve with the living.