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Lambeth Conference responds to bombings in Africa

Posted on: August 7, 1998 2:01 PM
Related Categories: Africa, Lambeth Conference 1998

By David Skidmore
Lambeth Conference Communications

Archbishop George Carey opened the afternoon plenary session of the Lambeth Conference with sobering news of the bombing of the United States embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this morning that killed more than 80 people and injured more than 1,000 others.

Although at the time of the plenary, the persons responsible for the attacks had not yet been apprehended, Archbishop Carey said he was sure the conference would want to "condemn them unreservedly," as well as offer its prayers and condolences to the victims and their families. He said he would be sending messages of sympathy on behalf of the conference to the U.S., Kenyan, and Tanzanian governments.

"We are deeply shocked to hear what happened this morning," said Archbishop David Gitari, Primate of Kenya, who followed Archbishop Carey. "To hear of bombs exploding in places which are familiar to us is very shocking indeed."

Archbishop Gitari said he and his fellow Kenyan bishops were worried that friends and associates were among the dead. But, he added, it ultimately does not matter how many were Kenyans, Tanzanians or Americans. Killing of this sort is "a terrible sin."

Violence is not the way to resolve political differences, he said. "We believe that we are created in the image of God and the destruction of innocent people is not the right way."

Bishop Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, echoed the concerns of Archbishop Carey and Archbishop Gitari, offering his prayers and "deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of this unspeakable tragedy."

The bishops prayed and observed a moment of silence for the victims.