Joining in Solidarity and Prayer

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The news from Paris last evening was heart-wrenching. The murderous violence that has plagued Iraq and Syria has now struck France as a series of coordinated attacks has led to more than 120 people dead and more critically wounded. This follows the mid-air explosion of a passenger airliner over the Sinai Peninsula a few weeks ago that has been determined to be an act of terrorism. The group claiming to be responsible for this carnage in each case is ISIS, which issued a statement vowing to continue its acts of death and terror.

Our first thought in all this is to reach out to our sisters and brothers and express our solidarity with them. While the specific victims may come from different parts of the world, in each case it is all of us who are attacked. The people of France, together with the French citizens living in our area, should know of our solidarity with them in this time of sorrow and determination to stand with them to bring an end to the violence.

We offer our prayers for the dead and wounded and their families, that the God of all consolation and mercy embrace you and give you peace. We ask also that the Lord grant us all the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy.

Pope Francis called this latest evil part of a “piecemeal Third World War,” adding that “there is no religious or human justification for it.” We join our Holy Father in his repeated calls that there be concerted international effort to end this terrorism.

Our hope and trust is in the Lord. Today let us stand with our Holy Father in making another impassioned appeal that the whole Church and all the faithful join as one to implore God to change enough hearts that all people might enjoy the gift of peace.

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