01/31/2017, 10.00
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Card. Gracias: Church in Asia grieves for Quebec City victims

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Archbishop of Mumbai is praying for the six victims and family members. He expresses deep sorrow on behalf of the entire Catholic Church. He recalls how in 2008 Quebec hosted the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, and that the streets were full of joy. "Today, however, the city is in mourning." Religions lead to peace.


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Church in Asia "is deeply saddened by the inhuman murder of people in the Islamic cultural center" of Quebec City. Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), told AsiaNews .  He was commenting on yesterday's attack in Canada. According to the cardinal, "it is horrible and cruel that innocent lives are taken in a sacred place like the mosque. This is an inhuman and meaningless act, without any justification ".

Following the example of Pope Francis, who yesterday expressed a strong condemnation of the attack, Card. Gracias guarantees "prayers on behalf of the whole Church in Asia, so that what happened does not lead to further violence, hatred and division".

According to the latest surveys, yesterday's attack was carried out by Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27 year old French-Canadian. The reasons for the gesture, which caused six deaths and several injuries, are still unknown and seems to have acted alone, although at first the police had stopped another man.

The archbishop of Mumbai recalls that in 2008 the Canadian region of Quebec hosted the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, which attracted more than 12 thousand pilgrims from more than 70 countries. He said that at that time the city was filled with festive people, who marched through the streets in a procession lasting three hours, accompanied by singing, music and recitation of the Rosary.

"It was – he says - a powerful example of unity, beauty, and love, and today the city is in mourning. The Church in Asia mourns the victims and prays for those who died and for their families. May God give them consolation. "

The cardinal is convinced that "prayer and dialogue should be at the center of it all, when we want to build peace in society." Also he points out that " the role of religion in contributing to peace and harmony in modern society should not be underestimated. This is why the world has great need for religions to work together to eliminate the social and cultural causes that generate terrorism. So they disperse the clouds of suspicion and fears and blows a breath of fresh air to welcome other faiths. "

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”