September 15, 2001

Statement in Response to Violent Events of September 11, 2001

On behalf of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, over five thousand Sisters of Mercy in twelve countries of the world, we offer our prayers and heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost loved ones in the tragic destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington D.C. These violent events have transformed us into a nation in mourning. We lament with so many others the loss of innocent victims and grieve with the many thousands whose lives are unalterably changed.

While we join our voices in the national mourning, we cannot join the cacophony of voices demanding retaliation and revenge. Such demands desire to set things right and to prevent a recurrence of terrorism, but we do not see more violence as the path toward this desirable end. It is our deepest prayer that we, who have so recently experienced the destructive power of hatred, will not now emulate it.

For the safety of all children, for the sanctity of justice, for the sake of global peace, we plead for a measured response that will seek out and punish only those who are responsible for this attack against the United States. By doing this we will exert a greater power than our attackers, the power to end the cycle of violence and death before it spreads across the face of the earth. We agree with John Paul II: "the ways of violence will never lead to genuine solutions to humanity's problems."

We join our voices with those who are calling

  • for tolerance toward those innocent people who happen to be of the same nationality, faith or ethnic group as the alleged perpetrators;
  • for a re-examination of the roots of the anger which has erupted against us - poverty, injustice and hopelessness - and our complicity in these root circumstances;
  • for deep and careful self-reflection as a nation;
  • for a rededication to the deep values of our Christian tradition: community, compassion, and justice for all;
  • for messages to the President of the United States and members of Congress expressing a desire for a response which will incite peace rather than war.

Contacts: Stacie Royster
Patricia Kenny rsm
Ph: 301 587 0423

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