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Caritas tribute to victims of terrorism

Thursday's tragic bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta "reminds us of how close the issue of terror is to our shores and emphasises our need for peace and reconciliation", according to a statement from Caritas Australia.

The statement expressed confidence that the Australian and Indonesian governments would meet the emergency and humanitarian needs of those affected. Instead Caritas would focus on "prayer for the victims and their families and continuing support for programs that build a sustainable and lasting peace around the world".

Meanwhile under the banner headline, "Darkness in the history of humanity," the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano remembered the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and subsequent terrorist attacks around the world.

"But the enemies of humanity can never prevail," said the subheadline.

"On Sept. 11, 2001, a threatening shadow was spread over humanity, darkening it," said the front-page editorial. "Hope is the only real force that can lead the world toward a future of peace where terrorism is only a sad memory,"

Pope John Paul II marked the anniversary with a meeting with several US bishps at his Castelgandolfo summer residence.

Back in Autralia, the Catholics lobby PolMin (Australian Political Ministry Network) said Australia should "support the victims of terror, not punish them".

PolMin's Dr John Sweeney pointed out that French citizen Marc Thao has died in detention, and Peter Qasim, who has attempted to flee from violence in Kashmir, has now entered his eighth year of detention in Australia.

"Terrorists only survive by garnering sufficient support from many other people who are desperate because they live with constant threat, humiliation and powerlessness," said Dr Sweeney. "Australia needs to win these people's support, not bomb them or punish them further. Australia's current policy of punishment of innocent people, a policy instigated and maintained by the politics of fear, is plainly reflected in its attitude to asylum seekers."

Remembering Sept. 11, Vatican says enemies of humanity won't prevail (Catholic News Service 10/9/04)
John Paul II to remember September 11 tragedy with American bishops (Catholic News Agency 10/9/04)
Caritas expresses condolences for Indonesia (Caritas Australia 10/9/04)
Media Release: Australia should support the victims of terror, not punish them (Australian Political Ministry Network Inc 9/11/04)

John L Allen: Martino on terrorism (National Catholic Reporter 10/9/04)
Editorial: Pray for terrorists too (Catholic Leader 12/9/04)
Vatican newspaper condemns Australian Embassy bombing (CathNews 10/9/04)

13 Sep 2004