From The Catholic Herald:
Tributes are being paid to Sir David Amess, a Catholic MP stabbed to death at his constituency surgery in Essex.
He was knifed repeatedly by a man who sprinted into Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea shortly after 12 noon and died in hospital three hours later.
Police arrested a 25-year-old man at the scene on suspicion of murder and have said they have recovered a knife and are not seeking anyone else in connection the murder.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, said: “I was shocked and saddened to learn of the killing of Sir David Amess MP while serving his constituents and country.
“I pray for the repose of his soul and for his family and constituents who grieve for him. May he rest in peace.”
Cardinal Nichols added: “David carried out his vocation as a Catholic in public life with generosity and integrity. He served in Parliament for four decades and was respected by all political parties across the House. His untimely death is a great loss.”
Lord Alton of Liverpool, who was baptised in the same Catholic Church by same Franciscan priest as Sir David (pictured above left), said he was “devastated”.
“It was with profound sorrow that I heard today of the murder of Sir David Amess MP, a longstanding friend and parliamentary colleague,” said Lord Alton
“Just a few weeks ago we shared a platform at the launch of his book, Ayes & Ears, documenting his political career over nearly four decades and how Parliament and politics have changed.
“Typically of David, the proceeds of the book were dedicated to three charities: Endometriosis UK, Prost8 and the Leigh-based Music Man Project.
“Notwithstanding all the good in the world we still have the capacity to do truly evil things,” he continued.
“This horrific attack has not only robbed David of his life but its reverberations will have devastating consequences for his family and loved ones. My thoughts are with Julia and their children. May he now rest in peace.”
Sir David, 69, a father of five children, was first elected to Parliament in 1983 and at the last election he held the Southend West for the Conservative Party by a majority of 14,000 votes.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, tweeted: “All our hearts are full of shock and sadness at the death of Sir David Amess MP.
“He was one of the kindest, nicest most gentle people in politics.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid described him as “a great man, a great friend, and a great MP, killed while fulfilling his democratic role”.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, said: “The worst aspect of violence is its inhumanity. It steals joy from the world and can take from us that which we love the most.
“Today it took a father, a husband, and a respected colleague. All my thoughts and prayers are with Sir David’s loved ones.”
He is the second MP to be murdered in office since Labour MP Jo Cox was stabbed and shot multiple times at a local library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, in June 2016.
Last year, Sir David wrote about how important it was for MPs to meet constituents in spite what had happened to Mrs Cox.
He wrote: “She was a young woman with a family going about her duties, as we all do, completely unaware of the threat that she faced.
“While it is often said that good can come out of someone’s death, it is difficult to see what good can come from this senseless murder.”
He said he was among those MPs to have been threatened at his home, leading him to invest in additional security around his property.
Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered Mrs Cox, tweeted: “My thoughts and love are with David’s family. They are all that matter now. This brings everything back. The pain, the loss, but also how much love the public gave us following the loss of Jo. I hope we can do the same for David now.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, told the Daily Mail that he was “shocked and deeply distressed” by the killing.
“David was a lovely man, devoted to his family, to Parliament and his Southend West constituency,” he said “He was well-liked by Members and the staff alike, and during his almost four decades here, built a reputation for kindness and generosity.
“This is an incident that will send shockwaves across the parliamentary community and the whole country.”
Sir David was a dedicated Catholic who used conscience votes to uphold the right to life and the Christian understanding of marriage.
Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right To Life UK, was among those who paid tribute to him.
She said: “Sir David’s death is a senseless tragedy and he will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Julia and their five children
“We have had the honour of working with Sir David over the years across a number of issues and he was a passionate and dedicated patron of our charity”.
“Sir David was a pro-life champion. Since he was elected in 1983, he always, where possible, used his position as an MP to stand up for the vulnerable, including championing initiatives to introduce more protections for unborn babies and more support for women facing crisis pregnancies.
“Everyone who worked with Sir David knew him to be a kind, caring and jovial man, who showed real care for the most vulnerable in our society”.
(Picture of Sir David with David Alton and Mother Teresa in the Jubilee Room of Parliament in 1988 courtesy of Lord Alton of Liverpool)
Update: The fatal stabbing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess has been declared a terrorist incident by the Met police.
The early investigation has revealed “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism”, the force said.
A 25-year-old man of Somali heritage arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder is currently in custody at an Essex police station.
As part of the investigation, officers are currently carrying out searches at two addresses in the London area, the Met said.
Further update: Last rites were denied to Sir David Amess. May he rest in the peace and love of God and may his loved ones be comforted in their grief!