Statement of Asian Bishops´ Conferences Regarding Sept. 11

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2001 ( The Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences Secretariat for the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops released this statement last week on the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

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The September 11th event has awakened the world to the inhuman and dehumanizing face of terrorist violence. The Bishops of Asia have known for long years the brutal reality of violence and the depths of inhumanity it can reach. At this moment, we condemn in unambiguous terms the terrorist violence of 11th September and all acts of violence that violate human dignity, destroy life and people, especially the innocent ones. We affirm our solidarity with all the victims of this incident in the United States of America and with the victims of violence in all parts of the world. The Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences calls for continued prayer for the victims and their families. We invoke God for the wisdom of the Spirit to guide our steps for a response worthy of our faith, hope and love.

In the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, we say «no» to a response of revenge in the sense of «a tooth for a tooth and eye for an eye». As disciples of Jesus, we reject in equal terms both violence and terrorism, that destroy life and people and dehumanize humanity. We also note that the seeds of violence and terrorism lie in the many injustices and the unjust systems of our world. Violence cannot be overcome by revenge that traps us in a spiral of violence. In the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, Mahatma Gandhi said «a response of eye for an eye leaves everyone blind». Hatred is not quenched by hatred but by compassion and love.

The Church is deeply committed to the summons of Jesus to peace-making «Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.» We should put our efforts together to build a «civilization of love» (Pope Paul VI). This is the time when the world community must respond to the call of justice, forgiveness, love and solidarity. In this, the Church joins all people of good will in the noble enterprise of building a just, non-violent and peaceful world worthy of our humanity and faith.

+ Most Rev. Oswald Gomis
Secretary General

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