Pope pleads with world to ‘abandon the path of violence' after David Amess stabbing, Norway bow attack

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Pope Francis has condemned recent attacks around the world, including the killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess.  

At his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, the Pope referred to the deadly bow-and-arrrow attack in Norway, an Isis mosque bombing in Afghanistan, and the lethal attack on Sir David Amess at his constituency surgery. 

“Last week, various attacks were carried out, for example, Norway, Afghanistan, England, which caused many dead and wounded,” he said.  

“I express my closeness to the families of the victims and I pray, please, abandon the path of violence, which is always a loss, a defeat for everyone. Let us remember that violence begets violence.” 

The comments echo those made by others in the UK who condemned the attack on Sir David.

Politicians and other observers have argued that, alongside the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox five years ago, such crimes amount to an attack on democracy in the UK. 

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Politicians, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, paid tribute to Sir David last week, with many praising his kindness and devotion to his constituents. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, has suggested a coat of arms should be erected in the Commons chamber as a permanent memorial to the late MP. 

A candlelit vigil was also held in Belfairs sports ground in Leigh-on-Sea, where Sir David was killed. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have agreed not to contest the seat in the by-election prompted by his death.  

Politicians have spoken out about the death threats and abuse they receive, prompting Home Secretary Priti Patel to order a review of MP’s safety.  

Ali Harbi Ali, a British man of Somali heritage, was arrested on Friday after Mr Amess died following a knife attack at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. 

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