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Condolences on Nice massacre

HONG KONG (SE): “We draw near in prayer to the suffering and recovering people of Nice, France. The darkness of violence cannot dim the light of humanity’s highest aspirations to live in peace,” the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, said in a message to the suffering people of Nice on July 15, the day after Bastille celebrations were marred by the mass murder of 84 people by a crazed truck driver.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the primate of all Ireland, said, “I invite everyone to undertake an act of kindness or compassion this weekend, perhaps in some small way to counter balance this awful crime.”

Archbishop Kurtz added, “For the dead, we ask for God’s mercy. For the wounded, we ask for God’s healing. For the affected families, we ask for God’s strength. And for the rest of us, let us ask for God’s wisdom as we seek the best way to help in the days ahead.”

He went on to say that these growing storms of hatred may test our ability to see the best in each other, but the memory of Jesus’ sacrifice can inspire us with the confidence to move forward without fear.

He added that with the example of the open embrace of all people who share in the hope of peace and freedom that was being celebrated in France, we can isolate the forces of hate, starve their growth and shine the light of love into its darkest corners.

“In a particular way, I thank God for the first responders who seek to safeguard the innocent at the risk of their own lives. Let us pray for all public authorities as they tirelessly work for our protection,” he concluded.

On behalf of the Church in Asia, Indian Oswald Cardinal Gracias said that the Church in Asia shares the anguish and pain of the families, friends and victims.

He added that nothing can justify such a heinous act and that our challenge is to face evil with greater good.

In a message sent to Bishop André Marceau, from Nice, Pope Francis said that he entrusts to the mercy of God those who have lost their lives and joins with the suffering of the afflicted families.

He concluded by imploring God to grant the gift of peace and harmony.

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