Dreadful terrorist attacks struck Paris, a city symbolic of coexistence and of law, killing and wounding numerous people, and leaving us all moved and in dismay. Tears join solidarity, for a world that does not give in to evil, as we have seen in these hours in the streets of Paris. After the attack in January, France is again shaken by grief and sorrow, as happened recently in other countries.
The Community of Sant’Egidio expresses its closeness and participates in the sorrow for the victims of this tragedy. It embraces the people of France; especially the families of those who were killed and wounded, in this attack striking innocent people and spreading senseless hatred. Today and tomorrow the communities of Sant’Egidio of Paris, Rome, and all over the world, will gather in prayer (in the evening prayers and Sunday Liturgies) to commemorate the victims and for peace.
The Community firmly condemns this barbarous and blind violence, which strikes against innocent people and spreads terror in cities, undermining coexistence, infusing hatred and suspicion. Let us trust those who have the duty to protect all citizens with the instruments of democracy, which only apparently may seem weak and ineffective. With these attacks in our eyes, we ask everyone to oppose the logic of terrorism through prayer, encounter, unity, and solidarity. To weep for the dead means also to trust in the capability of our societies to respond to the challenge of violence without dropping into a dark atmosphere of hostility.
Even more in this time of sorrow and tears, Sant’Egidio reiterates its commitment to peace and the construction of a society of living together. There is no hope and no future in revenge and hostility, for hope and future reside only in dialogue and in peace. Violence and barbarousness are not countered by acts or threats of war, but preserving one’s heart from the poison of resentment. If some persons give in to the spirit of evil, which makes their hearts an abyss of violence and inhumanity, we believe we must not despair of the power of peace, built every day with everyone’s contribution.