The Catholic Church in Australia was deeply shocked by the evil visited upon the Muslim people of Christchurch yesterday as they came to worship. Beyond Christchurch and New Zealand, the blood flowed right around the world; the entire human family has been grievously wounded by this violence.
The Archdiocese of Brisbane wishes first to express our solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch and New Zealand. We wish also to assure the Muslim people of Australia that we stand with you in this time of tribulation. You are not “the other”; you are part of us and we are part of you; you are our brothers and sisters. Therefore, we share your pain and offer our prayers as we turn with you to God.
We and our people pray for the many dead and for their families: may they know the peace of heaven. We pray for the wounded: may God protect and heal them. We pray even for those responsible for this atrocity: may they know the justice and mercy of God. We pray too for governments whose duty it is to foster peace not violence, to promote harmony not discord.
Catholic communities across this country will reach out to the Muslim communities in their vicinity. We will work with Muslim leaders and all people of good will to combat hatred and violence in every form, to knock down walls and build bridges in the name of God who calls us to live as one family.
We join Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in speaking here “in the name of God who has created all human beings…to live together as brothers and sisters, to fill the earth and make known the values of goodness, love and peace; we speak “in the name of innocent human life that God has forbidden to kill, affirming that whoever kills a person is like one who kills the whole of humanity” (Abu Dhabi Declaration, 4 February 2019).
Archbishop Mark Coleridge