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World News

Sir David Amess, the Pope and a 'blessed' boiled sweet

by Marcus Jones

As tributes continue to pour in for MP Sir David Amess, some unknown humorous stories about his life have also emerged.

In the House of Commons, his friend James Duddridge, the Conservative MP from his neighbouring constituency, spoke of his life achievements which included the tale of how a boiled sweet was inadvertently blessed.

Mr Duddridge said: "David was a regular visitor to the Vatican giving his faith and in the receiving line, perhaps slightly absentmindedly being used to these things, people were getting items blessed.

"David, having a sore throat, reached into his pocket for a boiled sweet.

"David got his timing wrong.

"The Pope took the sweet thinking it was a revered object to be blessed, blessed the revered object and David had to put it in his pocket. A holy sweet.

"When David would tell the anecdote, as he would do many a time, he would reach into his pocket and say 'this is the sweet that was blessed'."

Sir David Amess has been described as a "devout Catholic" and a "God fearing man".

Born into the Catholic faith, it was something which impacted him his whole life.

Throughout his career he would campaign on issues such as abortion and religious freedom.

Paying tribute, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of English and Welsh Catholics said: "David Amess, as a Catholic, understood the role and importance of the Holy See. It was he who, in 2006, established the All-party Parliamentary Group for relations with Holy See Group, a Group including people from different faiths and beliefs. 

"Over the years he led several parliamentary visits to Rome. He was instrumental in the historic visit of Pope Benedict to Parliament in 2010 and in the return visit by HMG representatives to Rome in the following year. He fostered this mutually respectful relationship through meetings with Cardinal Parolin, the Pope's Secretary of State, and with other Catholic leaders. 

"This contribution is both esteemed and will be sorely missed."

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