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USCCB President Responds to Istanbul Attacks

06-29-2016

WASHINGTON—Following the airport attack in Istanbul, Turkey, that left dozens of people dead and many more wounded, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops extended a message of hope and unity through suffering after the latest string of terrorist attacks. 

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, issued the following statement June 29. 

Full statement follows.

Statement in Response to Istanbul Attacks
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Drawing Strength from God’s Endless Mercy

Evil tests our humanity.  It tempts us to linger in the terror of Istanbul, Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando, and countless other Golgothas ancient and new. Evil lives in the empty hope that terror will blind us to our common humanity. As Christians, we focus not on the violence, but rather the mournful, hopeful image of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Cradling the broken body of Jesus, given up for all of us, Mary found comfort and strength in the love of her Son.  Jesus responded to horrific suffering with mercy.

Each time terror returns us to Golgotha, we should ask: can we respond as Mary did, or will fear numb our compassion?  Evil cannot be born from God.  Let us take this moment to reach out to our brothers and sisters in solidarity. The true representation of faith is found in the heroic acts of Istanbul’s airport security and emergency response.

As violence picks up its deadly pace, we can draw strength from God’s endless mercy.  No matter how often we must return to Golgotha, Mary will always be there to sustain us.  Let us, once again, turn our unwavering prayer and generosity toward the suffering.