Speak out: terrorists must not dictate interfaith relationships

terrorists

The vicar general of the Auckland diocese, Monsignor Bernard Kiely, told a gathering in Auckland to speak out when terrorist attacks occur.

He was giving the homily at a service to remember the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

“Speak out and be very clear that the extremists and the terrorists do not dictate or determine the conversation of interfaith dialogue and relations.

“The Sri Lankan community is small but deeply hurting, so it’s important that we as a nation surround them with our love and our prayer,” he said.

About 300 people from different faiths and communities lit candles and prayed during the special mass at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Northcote on Saturday night.

The Mass was led by the assistant priest at St Mary’s, Father Jude Algama, who was originally from Sri Lanka.

He said this week had been a very difficult time for his nation and also his local community in Auckland.

“They are really in a very desperate situation, crying and in pain and in fear.

“We have lost peace which we were enjoying the last few years after our civil war,” he said.

A service was also held at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Lower Hutt on Saturday evening.

A spokesperson for New Zealand’s United Sri Lanka Association, Dr Chula Rajapakse, said the service was to show solidarity for those affected by the bombings.

Earlier in the week at the Anzac Day service in Auckland, Msgr Kiely had offered a prayer for the victims of suicide bombing attacks in Sri Lanka.

He asked for a moment’s silence “to pray for our brothers and sisters affected by the atrocities in Christchurch and Sri Lanka.

“We pray for those who have grieved, for those who have died, for the wounded and for those disabled in body and mind,” he said.

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