Local religious leaders renew commitment to peace on 9/11 anniversary

Cardinal O’Malley speaks following a gathering of over 20 local religious leaders at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston in Brookline on the 5th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

BROOKLINE — More than 20 local religious leaders gathered on the 5th anniversary of the violence of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to reaffirm their commitment to justice, unity and lasting peace.

The Convening Committee for the Massachusetts Interreligious Leaders and Representatives Group began meeting regularly after the 2001 attacks. This year they dialogued together at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston for over two hours after which they met with members of the media.

There, five religious leaders — Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of the Islamic Council of New England, president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis Barbara Penzner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches Rev. Diane Kessler, and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodios of Boston — each lit a candle. The candles formed a circle and represented the “light of peace,” Metropolitan Methodios said.

“I see the lighting of the candles as a sign of our hope and our prayer to share the light of peace with our brothers and sisters throughout the world,” he said. “This morning we have gathered to affirm to one another and to the entire world the shared principles of justice, peace and unity, which are essential teachings of our Scripture traditions.”

Metropolitan Methodios said that, through the grace of God, sharing these values will some day lead to lasting peace and prosperity.

In his remarks, Cardinal O’Malley added that religious leaders must inspire their communities to live their faith and work together for justice. The actions of many people after Sept. 11 have shown their desire for peace, he said.

“It’s very fitting that we come together to mark this anniversary of such a terrible crime against humanity ... an event that brought out not only the worst in people but the best in people — their heroism and generosity, their love of community, their desire for peace and for paternity among peoples,” he said.

Those who attacked the United States wanted to destroy the foundation of this country but did not, and will not, succeed, said Rabbi Penzner.

“It was the goal of those who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks to destroy what makes America unique,” she said.

Instead of allowing that to happen, Americans must work together and pursue what in Jewish tradition is called “tikkun olam” or “repair of the world,” she added.

“We will work together to repair the world and we will bring a message of hope and peace to the people in our own communities and all people throughout the world,” she said.

Imam Faaruuq said that the group convened to share their common concern for all people, especially those less fortunate.

“We have gathered here today to share our concern for humanity and our belief in the one, transcendent God above all things,” he said.

Rev. Kessler said that as people of prayer with shared values, the group’s members came together to exchange dialogue and address the needs of the community together.

In October of 2006 and 2007 the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days and Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, as well as the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi will coincide. St. Francis prayed that he would be an instrument of the Lord’s peace, she said.

The convergence of these religious observances will not recur for another 30 years, Kessler added.

“We want to call attention to a distinct opportunity for dialogue and shared action among people of faith in local communities,” she said. “We are convinced that through sustained dialogue and relationships, barriers are removed and bridges are built.”

Speaking with The Pilot after the press conference, Cardinal O’Malley said that the religious leaders who gathered plan to continue to come together and pray together. They want to address the issues that divide people and help the secular world understand that religions are meant to build community and solidarity, not divide people.

“We certainly react when people try to use religion as an excuse for violence, bigotry or hatred,” he said of Sept. 11. “That is not what our faith is about. We are called to love the Lord and live His commandments.”

“The events on Sept. 11 galvanized this group to reach out in particular to the Muslim community,” he added.

The Archdiocese of Boston has long been involved in interreligious dialogue, participating in meetings and organizing events, and hopes to communicate to the Catholics of Boston the importance of reaching out to those of other faiths, Cardinal O’Malley said.

“We are anxious in our parishes for people to become more aware of the need for interreligious dialogue,” he said.

Nation
Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

World
Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Nation
Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

World
Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

World
God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

World
Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

World
Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Nation
Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

Nation
N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Nation
Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Nation
Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Nation
Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

Nation
#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Nation
Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Nation
Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...