Statements from Churchmen of Paris and beyond
Cardinal André Vignt-Trois of Paris
Our city of Paris, our country were hit last night with a particular savagery and intensity. After the attacks of January, after the attack in Beirut this week and many others throughout the past months, including Nigeria and other African countries, our country once again knows the pain of grief and must face the barbarism spread by fanatical groups. This morning I pray and I invite the Catholics of Paris to pray for those who were killed yesterday and their families, for the injured and for their loved ones and for those who are working hard to rescue them, for the police subject to a formidable power, for our leaders and our country so that together we may dwell in unity and peace of heart. I ask the parishes of Paris to comply with the safety regulations issued by the public authorities. I ask them to make this day and tomorrow, Sunday, days of mourning and prayer. Sunday at 6:30pm, I will preside at Mass at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris for the victims and their families and for our country; the bells of the cathedral will ring at 6:15. KTO Catholic television will broadcast the Mass, allowing all who wish to join it. Faced with the violence of men, may we receive the grace of a firm heart without hatred. That the moderation, temperance and control all have shown so far are confirmed in the weeks and months to come, that nobody indulges in panic or hatred. Ask for the grace to be peacemakers. We must never despair of peace, if one builds justice.
Bishop Michel Marie Jacques Dubost of Évry
The attacks on Friday night left us speechless. The cries, the tears, the fears chill us. We wonder: what to do?
Our first reaction should be one of prayer, prayer for the victims, pray for peace!…
But instinctively, before the tragedy, we feel the need to come together. We are different, divergent, sometimes conflicting, but we are brothers and we need to express and demonstrate that peace is possible, that our hearts are not born from calls for revenge but for justice and a renewed determination to fight for peace!
Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of St. Vladimir the Great in Paris
I call upon our community to join together in prayer for the victims of the outrageous and tragic crimes committed in Paris.
We condemn categorically these horrendous, hateful acts of violence.
Wanton attacks against innocent persons will not strip us of our God-given dignity.
They remind us of the need to continually increase our outreach to each other, to those who suffer.
Our prayers and expressions of heartfelt sympathy extend to those who have been killed and injured, to their families and friends, as well as to those who are traumatised by this violence.
We strengthen our resolve in the Holy Spirit to be persons of peace, justice, and reconciliation. We are in solidarity with the victims and with all people of good will who come together to stand up to this attempt to terrorise and dispirit the people of the world.
Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem
The whole world was struck by this barbaric criminal act that struck yesterday in Paris and its suburbs. It is with deep emotion that we learned this unspeakable horror.
Once again we are in a spiral of blind violence that seems to afflict our world, especially the Arab world for the past five years, reminding us of the words of St. Paul: “For the mystery of iniquity is already taking place…” [and] “… if you do not repent, you will all perish as well” Luke, 13.3.
We join with our Holy Synod, with our eparchies and parishes of France, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre in Paris, Saint-Nicolas of Myra in Marseilles and our nuns in Corrèze Aubazine … and call on all our Greek Melkite Catholic parishes to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the intentions of the victims and their families and for peace.
Let everyone hear the voice of the faith and its holy commandments: “Go, do not kill, but love your neighbor as yourself that the mystery of the Resurrection will reign, and not that of iniquity!”
We urge the international community to call on all believers of all religions to show solidarity for peace, faith, hope and charity. “For to love God is to keep His commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5: 3-4).”
Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Terror always seeks to separate us from those we most love. Through their suffering, courage and compassion, Parisians are reminding us that the common bond of humanity is strongest when the need is greatest. We pledge our prayers for everyone who suffers from this horrific violence and our advocacy to support all those working to build just and peaceful societies.
To the people of France, we mourn with you and honor the lives lost from several nations, including our own. To our brothers and sisters in the Church in France, your family in the United States holds you close to our hearts. May the tender and merciful love of Jesus Christ give you comfort during this great trial and lead you on a path toward healing and peace.
Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska
May St. Denis and Our Lady of Lourdes intercede tonight for the people of Paris.