Bishop of Lancaster: 'Terrorism has no place in civilised society'

 The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, has made the following statement on the recent terrorist attacks in the United States: "I unreservedly condemn the horrendous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon that resulted in the loss of so many innocent lives. Those who have suffered are the ordinary working people of the United States and other countries, including many migrant and undocumented workers. My heart and my prayers go out to all the victims of this tragedy and their families. "Terrorism, whether by a state, groups or individuals can never be the means to redress political, economic or social grievances. No matter how great the grievances are, terrorism has no place in civilised societies. The US has rightly sought international co-operation to overcome the evil of terrorism. I implore the leaders of the United States and the United Kingdom (including military and political blocs such as NATO and the EU) to use international law to bring to justice those responsible for this atrocity. Precipitous action, without clear and credible evidence of responsibility will only encourage a further escalation of violence and destruction. "The awful loss of life in the US, as indeed the displacement of millions of refugees worldwide as a direct or indirect consequence of state and non-state persecution and terrorism, is a tragedy. It is also tragic that Muslims and persons of Middle-Eastern appearance both here and in the US, have faced an upsurge in verbal and physical violence. Certain sections of the media bear grave responsibility for this backlash, in view of their distorted reports. "As Christians, we must remember that in God's eyes every human person is valued equally and created as a child of God. That is why I am appealing to all to work for justice and peace in the world, and as they pray for the victims of the US atrocity, also to pray for all the victims of terrorism everywhere."

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