|Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
October 8, 2001
Religious Leaders' Meeting at Downing Street
The Most Rev. Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales, met the Prime Minister this afternoon with other religious leaders. Following the meeting, the Archbishop said:
At today's meeting, we recalled the events of 11 September and their continuing legacy of grief and confusion. There must be unqualified condemnation of the evil deeds of that day. I am grateful that many people have clearly stated that Islam is not our enemy. Conscious of the restraint which has been shown in the past three weeks by the international community, I have found a sense of worry and fear, especially among young people, when the talk is of war.
While we all struggle with the character of these unprecedented events, it remains true that legality, restraint and proportionality are obligations in any military action. Indeed the criminals responsible for the atrocities in the US need to face justice. But the means taken to achieve this must always be bounded by international law and a recognition that to let others' inhumanity diminish our own would only grant terrorism a victory.
The Prime Minister has said that military action shall be focused and targeted. For this undertaking to be secured, there must be clarity about the objectives of military action, so that it can be ended as soon as possible.
As he said in his Labor Party Conference speech last week, this struggle against terrorism means not only an attempt to punish the guilty, but also to help bring democracy and freedom to people around the world. We need to develop not only international co-operation but also to strengthen the global community through long term measures – economic and Political – to challenge injustice and poverty.