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Reporting of Mills' funeral was careless

Your recent report on my address at the funeral of the late David Mills was careless (News, October 6).

My phrase "an assault like this is also an assault on God" was isolated from its context and, thus, headline-grabbing sensationalism.

Also, the quotations of the word "evil" were inaccurate.

The following is what I actually said: 'The assault on David was also implicitly an assault on decency, peacefulness, reverence for life, goodness... and these qualities are from God, who is the giver of life and the source of goodness and kindness.

'Therefore, I think it can be said that an assault such as this is also an attack on God and the way he has created and ordered life... and anything that destroys what God makes or wants for us therefore in some sense smacks of evil because, in Christian belief, evil is that which sets out to destroy the things of God.

'Evil is a strong word and I do not use it in a sensational or loose way and I am not saying that David's attacker is evil.

'However, I am saying that evil, as a force outside of ourselves yet in the world, is opportunistic and seeks ways to further the erosion of the Lord and his love and his peace and order in our lives through the sinfulness and vulnerability of the human heart.'

In this sensitive case, it is crucial to report carefully.

REV STUART BURNS

Rector, Loughinisland Parish Church

Seaforde, Co Down

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