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October 7, 2001


With people of all faiths I am praying for our President, for the leaders of our country and its many allies and, in a special way, for the men and women in military service at this time of grave need. I exhort everyone to pray and ask God in His great wisdom to guide our nation's actions in the critical days ahead.

Our government has the right and the duty to defend its people against the evil aggression of terrorists against our nation. It is heartening to see so many other countries joining us in defending humanity against this latest form of tyranny.

I am convinced that those making momentous military decisions in this war against international terrorists are seekers of justice and peace, not of vengeance. We are confident that no leaders involved in this action wants war. They desire justice. According to Catholic teaching, a military response in defense of our people is justified as long as: a sufficient time has been allowed to exhaust all other peaceful means; our intent is not aggression for its own sake but rather the achievement of justice and peace; that our target is never the innocent people but only those responsible for terrorist attacks and their resources. This military action, we have been assured, is against the terrorist forces in Afghanistan, not against the people of Afghanistan.

It will be lamentable if more lives are lost. In recent weeks, we, as a nation under God, have come to recognize more fully how precious God's gift of life is to us. Let us not despair during this time of great anxiety and need. God is with us as we, with other allied nations, seek to defend the common good of our nation as well as the international common good and peace throughout the world.

We must believe that good will be victorious over evil. It is my constant prayer that with God's help we will achieve a swift and just resolution that will enable all men and women to pursue justice and to live in peace.


Catherine Rossi
Director of Communications

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