VATICAN CITY, NOV. 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- After another eruption of terrorist attacks, this time in India, Benedict XVI is appealing for an end to terrorism as a grave offense to human dignity.
This was affirmed in a telegram sent in the Pope’s name by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India.
So far, 119 people have been reported killed and 288 injured in a series of attacks that began Wednesday night and continued today in Mumbai. Muslim militants are thought responsible.
“Deeply concerned about the outbreak of violence in Mumbai, the Holy Father asks you kindly to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in these brutal attacks, and to assure the public authorities, citizens, and all those affected of his spiritual closeness” the telegram said. “His Holiness urgently appeals for an end to all acts of terrorism, which gravely offend the human family and severely destabilize the peace and solidarity needed to build a civilization worthy of mankind’s noble vocation to love God and neighbor.
“The Holy Father prays for the repose of the souls of the victims and implores God’s gift of strength and comfort for those who are injured and in mourning.”
For their part, the bishops’ conference of India unequivocally condemned the terrorist attacks.
Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, secretary-general of the conference, expressed his deep sympathy and serious concern, saying, “The terrorist attacks in various parts of Mumbai in which innocent people are killed, foreigners targeted and top cops killed is one of the most barbaric acts and it must be condemned in the strongest possible words by one and all. Terrorism is evil, and all those involved in any terrorist activities are people working against the very foundation of human life which is sacred in the eyes of God.”