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Archbishop Carroll urges solidarity with Americans in sorrow

The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington were acts of infamy against the entire human family, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference Archbishop Francis Carroll said yesterday.

He offered the condolences, support and prayers of all Australian Catholics to the people of the United States, particularly the loved ones and friends of the many victims.

"We stand in solidarity as a nation with the people of the United States and with the whole of humanity at this awful time," he said. "I, along with all Australians, am deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic events of last night. Nothing can prepare a nation for such events and nothing can excuse such acts either."

Archbishop Carroll said these "acts of callousness" stand alone in a world "where violence seems to be a daily event".

He offered a prayer for "wise leadership" in the US and the world, emphasising that violence is not the answer now or in the future.

"Evil must be condemned," he said. "But great care must be taken lest even more innocent people suffer."

Meanwhile Archbishop Leonard Faulkner and Coadjutor Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide yesterday faxed a letter of solidarity to the Cardinal Archbishops of New York and Washington.

Archbishop Faulkner said that along with all South Australians he was struggling to come to terms with the scale of the human tragedy that had occurred in New York and Washington.

He said: "Violence and terrorism is never the answer. Justice and dialogue to work for the good of all peoples is the only way forward. As we come to grips with the enormity of this attack I also pray that we try to remain calm in response."

And Bishop Michael Malone of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese said the events highlight the fragility of a world desperately in need of reconciliation, healing and hope.

"While the actions of these terrorists must be condemned, it is vital that our reactions and responses be tempered with wisdom and justice," he said. "Tolerance and understanding between nations and respect for the dignity of all people are paramount at this time."

ACBC/CathcommSA/Maitland-Newcastle Diocese