September 20, 2001
"A Day of National Tragedy"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Administrative Committee of the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting here on September 11 issued a statement
on the terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., and New York. Following is the
text of the statement:
This is a day of national tragedy. Though we do not yet know its full extent,
we mourn those who have lost their lives and pray for their eternal rest and for
the consolation of their families.
We pray for the living victims that they may know that God is with them in
their sufferings We pray for those who are rescuing and ministering to the
injured, that God may strengthen them in their heroic and often heartbreaking
work. We pray for our national community that we will be of
support to one another in the days ahead as we come to grips with the enormity
of what has happened.
We express our support for our President and other government leaders, both
national and local, who bear the tremendous responsibility of dealing with the
aftermath of these unbelievable events. They are in our prayers in a special
If, as seems likely, this tragedy is the result of acts of terrorism, then we
pray also for those whose hatred has become so great that they are willing to
engage in crimes against our common humanity. May they realize, at last, that
such violence creates not justice but greater injustice.
On Friday and Saturday, we celebrate the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy
Cross and then honor Our Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows.
These are particularly apt days for Catholics to reflect on the ways in which we
are called to take up the cross and follow our Lord.
We call upon all our fellow citizens to renew their trust in God and to turn
away from the bitter fruits of the kind of hatred which is the source of this
tragedy. Especially let us not engage in ethnic, religious, or national
stereotyping for what may be the acts of a few irrational terrorists. As the
Catholic bishops of the United States, we unite in prayer to the Lord our God in
the words of the psalmist:
"In you, O Lord, I take refuge . . .
Incline your ear to me, and save me.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety" (Psalm 71).
Pope Sends Condolences on American Tragedy
President's Address to Congress,
September 20, 2001
Commentary by Fr.
Frank: We Will Not Live in Fear