English Church leaders condemn religious violence

The leaders of England’s Catholic and Anglican Churches have condemned religiously motivated violence, with Westminster’s Cardinal Vincent Nichols describing “violence in the name of God” as “always a corruption of true faith”.

In his Christmas midnight Mass homily he likened Islamist militants to King Herod, saying “Today’s Herods, ISIS and the like around the world in so many faiths, propose false apocalypses”. Describing the vulnerable infant Christ as a living refutation of those who would preach religious violence, he said, “if this child is God in our flesh, then violence has no place at all in his presence”. 

Similarly in his Christmas sermon, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury called ISIS a modern Herod and claimed ISIS seeks to bring “apocalypse” to the Middle East, describing this as “an unveiling created of their own terrible ideas, one which is igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression”.

“Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end times,” he said.