The Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Spain, Don Carlos Lopez-Lozano, has expressed thanks for the support received from throughout the Anglican Communion in the wake of the deadly attack in Barcelona’s main tourist area on Thursday. Priests from the Spanish Episcopal Church have attended to the wounded in hospital and are offering support to families of the victims.
Bishop Lopez-Lozano said in a statement:”Our prayers are with the victims and the families of the victims and those that are wounded now in Barcelona. We pray now that God is watching over them in their moment of terrible suffering, especially those who have lost their lives. We pray for the volunteers, the police, and all those that are working to help in this difficult time. We ask God to spread his peace in this world of violence and transform the hearts of the terrorists and those that support terrorism. Finally, I speak for our entire church here, that we are touched by the love and support we have already received throughout the entire Anglican Communion and other churches that join us in prayer at the hour of our need.”
Special services were held on Sunday for the victims of the attack. Bishop David Hamid of the Diocese in Europe assured Barcelona of the prayers of “brothers and sisters across the diocese.”
Bishop David offered prayers for “the victims, their families and loved ones, and for all who are affected by this horrific attack.” He said prayers were being said for those who work in the emergency services, and for all clergy and others offering comfort, relief and pastoral support: “We in the Diocese in Europe are both shocked and increasingly alarmed at what appears to be now a series of deadly copycat attacks involving terrorists using vehicles as weapons to attack their innocent victims in the streets of some of our most vibrant cities, beginning with the attack in Nice in July 2016, then subsequently in Berlin, Stockholm and Paris. Now Barcelona (along with Cambrils to the south along the coast) is the latest target for this type of terrorist attack.
In all these cities our Church of England has a significant presence with flourishing chaplaincies with regular members from all over the world. Our clergy and people welcome large numbers of visitors and tourists seeking English-language worship, who find our congregations to be a welcoming temporary home. The attack in Barcelona, at the height of the tourist season, on one of the main boulevards in the city where throngs of visitors are present every day, was clearly directed to cause maximum death and injury among those same international visitors whom we are called to serve. As English-speaking communities, we do play a key role in pastoral care for those whose international language is English, complementing the pastoral care that is naturally offered by the local Churches.......The very presence of a caring Christian community, standing together at this time of fear and uncertainty, I hope will be a blessing to those who seek strength and the assurance of Christ’s love and in these most troubled times”.
The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, called for an end to attacks on innocent people and a unified voice of justice and peace across the world: ”We must stand together in the face of terror attacks that we can’t understand or predict,” he said. “We know we live in a dangerous time. What we can be sure of, is that the God of life wants us all to enjoy the fullness of life equally.”
Revd Olav expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones, those struggling with injuries, and responders who treated people at the traumatic scene:
"We extend our prayers to all who are coping with feelings of grief and fear," he added. “In these very painful times, we all must be neighbours to each other, neighbours whose sense of hope can grow stronger together.”