September 11, 2001, New
York City, New York
the Lord will not cast off forever: but though He cause grief, yet will He have
compassion according to the multitude of His mercies, For He doth not afflict
willingly nor grieve the children of men.
hurry to express to you and your fellow citizens my profound sorrow and my closeness
in prayer for the nation at this dark and tragic moment."
Pope John Paul II, in a telegram sent to President George W. Bush
have been reminded very powerfully of the existence of evil in our world and of
the power that evil can seem to have... We are praying from our hearts for those
who have been killed and injured and for the heroic people who are involved in
the rescue efforts. May God bless us with courage and strength"
Bishop George J. Lucas, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Illinois
John Paul II said massive terror attacks in the United States marked "a dark day
in the history of humanity" and asked pilgrims during a sombre general audience
to join him in prayer.
Dropping ordinary audience
procedure, the pope devoted his entire text Sept 12 to the attacks less than 24
hours earlier, in which hijacked planes destroyed New York's World Trade Center
towers and damaged the Pentagon. Initial casualty estimates suggested that thousands
of people were killed.
"The human heart has
depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of
destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people," the pope told 25,000
pilgrims who hung on his words in an eerily quiet St Peter's Square. "But faith
comes to our aid when words seem to fail," he said. "Even if the forces of darkness
appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have
the final say."
The pope said he had offered
his morning Mass for "the helpless victims of this tragedy." He assured his spiritual
closeness to the "beloved people of the United States in this moment of distress
and consternation, when the courage of so many men and women of good will is being
sorely tested." Though he usually addresses pilgrims in at least a dozen languages,
the pope spoke only in Italian and English. His comments were
summarised by aides in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish.
the end of the audience, the pope led prayers for the disaster's victims and for
the ultimate victory of reconciliation and peace. "Let us beg the Lord that the
spiral of hatred and violence will not prevail," he said. A papal aide read a
prayer petition in English, asking God to help Americans who are suffering "not
to let themselves be overwhelmed by sorrow, despair and a spirit of vengeance"
but instead to "commit themselves to building a better world" in the confidencethat ood will triumph over evil.
News, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
Edward J Gilbert sent the following letter of condolence dated September 11, to
David Stewart, Charge d'Affaires at the United States Embassy:
I am writing to express the profound
sadness and sincere condolences of the people of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain
for the people of the United States due to the terrorist attack on New York and
Washington earlier today. It was truly horrific to watch the television reports.
I assure you the Archdiocese will pray for the people and government of the United
States of America especially for all those who were killed and their families.
With deep regret, I am
Most Reverend Edward J Gilbert CSsR
of Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies
we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response
to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers. However, we feel
compelled to ask some questions. Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What
was the root cause of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the
deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world
and is even celebrated. Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt
by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition
for a long time? One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred
for America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world?
"....When we have secured our safety
once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is
over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are
confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again
behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety
until the root cause is faced. "
group condemns US attacks
Muslim community of Trinidad and Tobago has condemned the "barbaric and cowardly
act of terrorism" against innocent civilians on September 11 in the United States.
Thousands were killed when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New
York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington DC. The Ahmadiyya group said
it was "deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives". The community described
the attacks as a "brutal and terrible act against humanity" and extended its condolences
to "those who have either lost family or friends, or are hurt physically or emotionally".
-- Trinidad Guardian On-Line, September 24,
The Dalai Lama warned, however, that "bombing
can eliminate only physical things, not thoughts or emotions.
Talk and reasoning is the only long-term solution." October 24, 2001
Dalai Lama justifies the US attacks on Afghanistan, but advocates a non-violent
method to prevent terrorism. - November