Papal Letter of Condolence to D.C. Cardinal

In Wake of Terrorist Attack on Washington

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 18, 2001 ( Here is the text of a letter of condolence from John Paul II to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, that was to be read at Sept. 16 Mass for Healing and Peace in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

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From the Vatican, September 15, 2001

«Dear Cardinal McCarrick,

I join my prayers to those of all assembled in the National Shrine for the Mass of suffrage celebrated for those who lost their lives in last Tuesday´s terrorist attack on the Pentagon. I am confident that in this time of trial all Americans will find their religious faith a source of renewed hope and the impetus for an ever more determined resolve to reject the ways of hatred and violence.

To those affected by this immense tragedy I hold up the light of the Gospel and pray that by the prompting of the Holy Spirit they will be led to an ever closer union with the Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of His cross and resurrection. To all I solemnly repeat the Gospel injunction not to be conquered by evil, but to conquer evil with good (Rom 12:21), to trust in the power of God´s grace to transform human hearts and to work fearlessly to shape a future of justice, peace and security for the children of our world. Upon you, Archbishop O´Brien, Bishop Loverde and all the military and civilian personnel who have gathered to commend the departed to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father I cordially invoke the divine gifts of wisdom, strength and perseverance in good. To all the faithful I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of comfort and peace in the Lord.»

Pope John Paul II

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