Bishops urge understanding of terror causes

Australia's Catholic Bishops have urged the nation to seek to understand and address the reasons why alienated young people would seek to harm innocents.

CLICK HEREThe Sydney Morning Herald reports that, in a statement on terrorism released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the bishops pledged to intensify efforts to promote a culture of respect, dialogue and peace in the community.

They said in recent times there had been stark reminders of the reality of terrorism and the random killing of innocent people to impose an ideology or to seek to undermine a way of life is never acceptable.

"It is an evil which must be resisted at every turn," they said. "As a community we must always be seeking to understand the reasons behind acts of terrorism. Pointing the finger at religious minorities is not the answer and will only lead to more fear and mistrust.

"If there are young people in our community who feel so alienated that they would seek to harm innocent people, then we must try to understand the causes of this alienation and to address them."

The bishops said adequate anti-terrorism laws were vital at this time and police and intelligence services deserved the full support of the community in their efforts to stop terror acts before they occurred.

But there did need to be vigilance to ensure that such laws did not undermine the very freedoms that terrorists sought to remove.

"A balance is needed," the statement said. "We acknowledge the bipartisan approach to anti-terrorism legislation in Australia and call on all parties to ensure that proper parliamentary scrutiny is applied to such bills and that the rule of law is not compromised."

"As religious leaders we pledge ourselves to do all in our power to promote and participate in such dialogue. We call on Catholic people and all of goodwill to join us in that task."

Understand causes of terror, say bishops (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 25/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
A statement on terrorism by the Catholic Bishops of Australia (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 25/11/05)

Bishop calls for more time to debate anti-terror laws (CathNews 31/10/05)
Bali Bishop in Adelaide for terror remembrance (CathNews 11/10/05)

Australian government pushes anti-terrorism laws despite objections (Catholic News Service 23/11/05)
Muriel Porter: The church must speak out on terror laws (The Age 25/11/05)

28 Nov 2005