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Chapter 24. Life in Christ—Part Two • 333

of any religious tradition distort their professed faith in order

to justify violence and hatred. Whatever the motivation, there

can be no religious or moral justification for what happened

on September 11. People of all faiths must be united in the

conviction that terrorism in the name of religion profanes reli-

gion. The most effective counter to terrorist claims of religious

justification comes from within the world’s rich religious tradi-

tions and from the witness of so many people of faith who have

been a powerful force for nonviolent human liberation around

the world.

A Time for Teaching

Many Catholics know the Church’s teaching on war and

peace. Many do not. This is a time to share our principles and

values, to invite discussion and continuing dialogue within our

Catholic community. Catholic universities and colleges, schools,

and parishes should seek opportunities to share the Sacred

Scripture and Church teaching on human life, justice, and peace

more broadly and completely. In a special way, we should seek

to help our children feel secure and safe in these difficult days.

[Note: the Church’s teaching on war appears in Chapter 29.]

A Time for Hope

Above all, we need to turn to God and to one another in

hope. Hope assures us that, with God’s grace, we will see our

way through what now seems such a daunting challenge. For

believers, hope is not a matter of optimism, but a source for

strength and action in demanding times. For peacemakers,

hope is the indispensable virtue. This hope, together with our

response to the call for conversion, must be rooted in God’s

promise and nourished by prayer, penance, and acts of charity

and solidarity. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,


Pastoral Message: Living with Faith and Hope after September


[Washington, DC: USCCB, 2001])