Friday, November 28, 2008

"This is Not Mumbai"

As hostages were freed, assailants were killed, and the death toll in the India attacks rose above 200 -- including the 29 year-old rabbi and his wife who ran the city's Jewish center, among five hostages there -- the city's archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias issued a message condemning the three days of violence and praying for the city:
Our words cannot express our shock at this incident; I am deeply saddened by this attack on our city and on our beloved nation as a whole.

The Church in India condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. Innocent and unconnected people have been killed. Very brave police officers have been killed. Mumbai in the target of different terrorist groups. The Church offers our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their dear ones, and the Church in Mumbai places all our medical services to those who have been injured.

We must fight together as a nation and as a united people to combat the terrorists. We must never give up hope because ultimately hope will prevail. It is Christian to always hope. Good will triumph, evil will be overcome, this is our Hope.

Regrettably, senseless violence goes on and there may be reprisals, we – all of us -- must consider creating a feeling of intolerance against divisive forces, against elements that sow seeds of mistrust and suspicion in the minds of our people. We must create a climate where every citizen is alert and such incidents can immediately be reported to the intelligence agencies and enable the government and our security agencies to take steps earlier. The important thing today is to be together.

Mumbai is our city, where mutual tolerance and understandings between cultures and religions has prevailed despite of the attempts to rip apart our city, now we will continue to build bridges of understanding between peoples, cultures and religions. We must overcome evil with good and seek peace.

This terror attack was not an act of the people who love our country, this is not India, and this is not Mumbai. Mumbai is a very tolerant and brave city. India is a great country and very tolerant. These are all misguided people who are brain washed who probably think what they are doing is right and that every thing is ok. It’s terrible what they have done. They’re harming innocent people and disturbing the peace.”

”This tragedy snuffed out the lives of many foreign national and this is a matter of immense shame. India is known for her hospitality, we ask for forgiveness for this aberration done in our city…….but please- do not write Mumbai off, India is a great county, Mumbai is a great city, you are also welcome here.

The people who carried out these deadly attacks, are misguided people, who have been deluded and brainwashed into the ideologies and propaganda of the cause, but this is madness, they bring death, fear , panic and disrupt the harmony and lives of the city and county……darkness of chaos.

But we do not despair, we do give up Hope that Goodness will prevail that God will lead us from darkness of chaos to Light Peace and Harmony.

God Bless our city Mumbai!

God Bless India!
A native of the Mumbai church -- whose 500,000 members form India's largest Latin-rite community -- Gracias was named to its top spot in 2006 on the transfer of his predecessor and patron, the diplomat Ivan Dias, to Rome as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the global church's top post overseeing the missions.

Named a cardinal at last year's consistory, Gracias is the fourth archbishop of Mumbai so elevated since Valerian Gracias -- the first native son ever to hold the post -- received the red hat in 1953. In some form or another, the city's history as a local church dates back to the 16th century.

PHOTO: Reuters