Italy’s Vatican ambassador sent the pope a message to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of British lawmaker Jo Cox.
Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi sent a letter of condolence to Francis, his only Pope this year. Cox was a member of the opposition Labour Party who was shot and stabbed on June 16, 2016 outside the constituency office she was opening in her west London constituency. The Catholic Church considers the lawmaker, who had campaigned for protections for migrants, a martyr.
Nigel Farage, an opponent of Islamist extremism who works with Cox’s widow, said he hoped Pope Francis could “break his silence” and “protest for the death of Jo Cox.”
Elaborating on a possible Vatican response, Farage told The Telegraph newspaper that a reference in “Amoris Laetitia” could be taken as a slight against Muslims, for example, but a reference to Christianity alone could encourage unity against a common enemy, ISIS.
Last month, Francis did not utter a word about the slaying, telling reporters on the plane ride back from a visit to Chile and Peru, “If I say something or comment I’ll be criticized, and I won’t even know what they are criticizing.”
In his letter to Francis, Archbishop Sambi called Cox “an outstanding person who was respected by everyone” for her campaign on behalf of migrants and refugees. Sambi said Pope Francis would be sure to pass on his message of “profound closeness and solidarity” to Cox’s husband, Brendan Cox, and to their children, Cuillin, 6, and Lejla, 5.