World Religious Leaders Lament America´s Dark Day

«Millions … Are United in Prayer»

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NEW YORK, SEPT. 11, 2001 ( News of the horrific attacks in the United States stunned the world and prompted an outpouring of condolences from religious leaders today, home and abroad.

In Canada, Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George, British Columbia, and president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, invited all Canadians to pray for the victims and their families.

«Our first thoughts are with the victims and those close to them, their families and all people affected by this tragedy,» he said in a statement. «When faced with events such as this atrocity, words cannot be found.

«At this time, millions of people around the world, following the shock of hearing and seeing this terrible event, are united in prayer. In the name of my brother bishops of Canada, I invite all to pray for peace.»

On hearing the news of the attacks, primarily in New York and Washington, D.C., Bishop Wiesner contacted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to offer his condolences and to assure the American bishops of the prayers of the Church in Canada.

Gary Walsh, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said: «Our friends to the south have experienced a tragedy. I am calling the evangelical community and all Canadians to pray for those whose lives and families have been devastated and for the American nation and their leaders. We need to pray that great wisdom be granted to world leaders at this time as they deal with this devastation. … We encourage pastors, churches and groups to hold prayer meetings.»

In Providence, Rhode Island, Catholic Bishop Robert E. Mulvee announced a Mass this evening at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul for peace and reconcilation in the wake the tragedies.

Four hijacked planes were lost in the attacks that destroyed New York´s World Trade Center and heavily damaged the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. Authorities fear thousands of deaths and injuries.

From Lourdes, France, where he was on a diocesan pilgrimage, Cardinal Desmond Connell, the archbishop of Dublin, Ireland, called for prayer for the victims.

In a statement he said: «These events are beyond our comprehension and remind us of the force of evil in our world. Only the loving God can give us hope in a moment like this and enable us to work together to eradicate such evil from human hearts.»

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