Clergy, Religious Groups Respond to Terrorist Attacks
Pope, Billy Graham, Dalai Lama, others voice anguish and hope for peace and justice.
1) We feel that our country, the United States, is under attack.
2) All Americans should stand together to bring the perpetrators to justice.
3) We warn against any generalizations that will only serve to help the criminals and incriminate the innocent.
4) We offer our resources and resolve to help the victims of these intolerable acts, and we pray to God to protect and bless America.
Statement from evangelist Billy Graham (more responses from Christian leaders):
"I call upon all Americans to pray especially for our President and for all who advise him, that they may have divine wisdom as they respond to this insane and horrific act.
"In times like this we realize how weak and inadequate we are, and our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was a time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation, it is now, that this evil will spread no further. It is also a time for us to remember the words of the Psalmist: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea ... He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God ... The Lord of hosts is with us.'" (Psalm 46:1-2, 9-11)
Excerpted from an address by Pope John Paul II (more):
In a special way I reach out to the families of the dead and the injured, and assure them of my spiritual closeness. I entrust to the mercy of the Most High the helpless victims of this tragedy, for whom I offered Mass this morning, invoking upon them eternal rest. May God give courage to the survivors; may he sustain the rescue-workers and the many volunteers who are presently making an enormous effort to cope with such an immense emergency. I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to join me in prayer for them.
Let us beg the Lord that the spiral of hatred and violence will not prevail.
May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Mercy, fill the hearts of all with wise thoughts and peaceful intentions.
Excerpted from the initial statement of the National Council of the Churches of Christ:
...We hold the families of the victims in our prayers. We acknowledge the grief, sense of vulnerability, loss and fear that result from these attacks.
We condemn these vicious attacks in the strongest possible terms...
We call on people of faith to reach out to one another.
We especially urge churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to join in prayer and practical help. We must stand united against the temptation to retaliate against innocent persons.
We can all pray. We can respond to calls for donations of blood and other practical assistance.
In this the worst attack on U.S. territory since Pearl Harbor, we must turn our eyes to the God of us all. In Psalm 23, we are promised God's care even "in the presence of our enemies." May God guide us in these days of pain."
Excerpted from a statement by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
We call upon all our fellow citizens to renew their trust in God and to turn away from the bitter fruits of the kind of hatred which is the source of this tragedy. Especially let us not engage in ethnic, religious, or national stereotyping for what may be the acts of a few irrational terrorists. As the Catholic Bishops of the United States, we unite in prayer to the Lord our God in the words of the Psalmist:
In you, O Lord, I take refuge...
Incline your ear to me, and save me.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety. (Psalm 71)