|Caritas Intrenationalis, The Vatican, Rome, CIDSE, Brussels, Belgium
September 18, 2001
Deeply shocked and saddened by the appalling events that took place in the United States last week, we share the grief of the relatives of the victims and of your nation.
At this moment we think of all those in leadership roles in the United States who have to deal with the consequences of this terrible attack with courage and wisdom. Caritas Internationalis* and CIDSE** are committed to peace and development in solidarity with the poorest worldwide. Catholic Relief Services, our member in the United States, conveyed to us the following message which we fully make our own: "In a time when revenge will be the word on too many lips, we must pray for the grace to live our lives with the restraint that justice demands. We truly believe that when we are working for justice we create peace. When we live with justice, and seek reconciliation among all peoples we will build a culture of peace".
We are concerned that the further loss of innocent lives should be avoided at all costs. We appreciate the dilemma in which you find yourself, and we pray that at this critical moment you will find the courage and wisdom to respond in ways that promote international peace and community among the peoples and different faiths all over the world. In these dramatic hours we ask you to let the preservation of peace in the world prevail, and not let the world enter a cycle of hatred and violence.
H.E. Archbishop Fouad El-Hage
President Caritas Internationalis
* Caritas Internationalis: a network of 154 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations present in 198 states and territories throughout the world.
** CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity): a network that brings together 14 Catholic development organizations from Europe and Canada.