Archbishop Malcolm's Hillsborough Vigil reflection

Words spoken at St George's Hall on Wednesday 27 April

"In the grip of grief and loss we, the people of Liverpool, came together to seek the truth about those who suddenly and unjustly died at Hillsborough all those years ago. The defiance of the families of the 96 has cemented the bond between communities in our city, and I am proud that our communities, Christians of all denominations, people of other faiths and those who do not belong to a faith community, have walked together on this journey with all the people of Liverpool. Our identity as has been enhanced by this struggle for justice that has united us as citizens of this city at a very deep level. As people of this city we now share an even deeper bond of friendship and enjoy a greater sense of community.
 
"Justice never comes cheap, but nobody would have expected it to take over a quarter of a century for the light of truth to shine on this dark episode in our nation's history. We are all aware of the prolonged suffering of the families who refused to be crushed by indifference, denials and false accusations. They inspired us to live our lives with an even greater self-respect. We are proud of those who carried on this fight even when the battle seemed to be lost.
 
"Our task now is to remain in the truth. As those who are responsible for causing this terrible tragedy are called to account for their actions, we must not be vengeful but follow the example of dignity that has characterised the families of the victims over the last years. We must be mindful of those who were at Hillsborough and survived but still experience the guilt and trauma that accompanies those who survive tragedy of this order. 
 
"We should be proud of the achievement of the people in calling the justice system of our country to account. This will undoubtedly be of benefit to our people in the future.
 
"On behalf of the Catholic people of Liverpool, I would like to thank the coroner and the jurors for their careful consideration of the evidence and all whose work has led to the conclusion of the inquest into the death of the 96. I hope that the acknowledgment that those who died were unlawfully killed will bring comfort to the families of the 96 and the survivors, and that justice will now be done for all who died; may they rest in peace, to be forever remembered in the hearts and minds of the people of Liverpool."
 
Let us pray,
Almighty and Ever-Loving God, in you we place our trust and hope.
Deceit and untruths can have no part with you.

You guide everything with wisdom and love.
Hear the prayers we offer for those who died at Hillsborough, that they be with you in a place of peace and light.
May your love gently wipe the tears from our eyes and remove the fear from our heart.
May the love and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ bless and console us.

 
Look also with favour upon the families of the 96 and those who will grieve the loss of their loved ones until their dying day.
Be present to them, Lord, so that they may feel the warmth of your love daily.

Console them in the hope all who trust in you will find peace and rest in your eternal Kingdom.
We thank you for the integrity and wisdom of those who conducted the inquests and for the jury who put their lives on hold so that others may know the truth and find serenity in theirs.
Bless them with your presence and surround us all with your love.
By the wisdom of our leaders and integrity of those around us, may truth be restored and justice be served.
Preserve us Lord from future injustices and allow our leaders to strive for what is right and just.

Grant that peace, the fruit of justice and charity, may reign in the hearts of every family here in Liverpool and in every nation throughout the world.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.