332 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
LIVING WITH FAITH AND HOPE
AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
This reflection is from the bishops of the United States on the tragedy of
September 11, 2001. It was an event that dramatized the issues of good
and evil and the need to draw moral guidance from the teachings of
Christ and the Church.
After September 11, 2001, we are a wounded people. We share
loss, pain, anger and fear, shock, and determination in the face
of these attacks on our nation and all humanity. We also honor
the selflessness of firefighters, police, chaplains, and other brave
individuals who gave their lives in the service of others. They
are true heroes and heroines.
Our nation has turned to God in prayer and in faith with a
new intensity. This was evident in the prayers on the cell phones
on hijacked airliners, on stairways in doomed towers, in cathe-
drals and parish churches, at ecumenical and interfaith services,
in our homes and hearts.
Our faith teaches us about good and evil, free will, and
responsibility. Jesus’ life, teaching, death, and Resurrection
show us the meaning of love and justice in a broken world.
Sacred Scripture and traditional ethical principles define what it
means to make peace. They provide moral guidance on how the
world should respond justly to terrorism in order to reestablish
peace and order.
The Role of Religion
We are particularly troubled that some who engage in and
support this new form of terror seek to justify it, in part, as a
religious act. Regrettably, the terrorists’ notion of a religious
war is inadvertently reinforced by those who would attribute
the extremism of a few to Islam as a whole or who suggest that
religion, by its nature, is a source of conflict. . . .
It is wrong to use religion as a cover for political, economic,
or ideological causes. It compounds the wrong when extremists