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Catholic leader hails Muamba wishes

The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has highlighted the outpouring of good will towards Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba as he described how prayer can "transform personal distress".

The Archbishop of Westminster, The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, was giving the homily at the Easter Vigil, at Westminster Cathedral, when he focussed on illness and trauma in society.

He first highlighted the work of those who care for people with dementia.

The archbishop told the vigil: "In recent days we have heard of the extent of the burden of dementia.

"Tonight we thank God for the numerous families and friends who spend their time and energy caring for those with that disease.

"Governments may understandably speak of the economic value of this care.

"We salute it as a sign of God's goodness and as crucial for our well-being."

He went on: "We hear of the agonies of personal illness and trauma.

"Yet in response we know that there is a great wave of prayer, seen with unusual publicity in the case of the young footballer Fabrice Muamba.

"This prayer, our prayer, can always support and transform personal distress. It is a true sign of the light of the Risen Christ in our lives."

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