Posted on: November 14, 2015 12:08 PM
Article adapted from Anglican Communion News Service
Church leaders around the world have offered prayers and messages of solidarity after the series of terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night which left at least 127 people dead and many more fighting for their lives.
“I am deeply shocked by the terrible tragedy which has befallen the city of Paris,” the head of the Church of England’s Diocese of Europe, the Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, said. “I offer my fervent prayers for the families who have so brutally and suddenly lost loved ones, and for all who are struggling with serious injury.
“As a diocese we want to express our solidarity with the people of France at this dark time. Acts of terror against innocent people are totally abhorrent. We pray for deliverance from evil and that all the perpetrators and their accomplices are swiftly brought to justice.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, described hearing of the “desperate news of deep tragedy.” In a Tweet as the situation was being played out in the French capital, he spoke of the many broken hearts, and said: “We weep with those affected [and] pray for deliverance and justice.”
The Church of England has also published a collection of prayers for peace on its website.
Guy Liagre, general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, said that the organisation “grieves the loss of life and mourns with all those affected by this enormous tragedy. We pray for the victims, their families and friends, and for the men and women who risked their own lives in service to others.”
He continued: “These tragic events impel CEC to strengthen our peacebuilding and reconciliation work. We must strive to follow the words of the Psalms – depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
In Australia, prayers for Paris were said every half hour at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne as news of the tragedy struck. In expressing sympathy, the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Philip Freier, said. “I greatly fear that in the 21st century events like this are going to become much more common, but they will never lose their capacity to shock.”
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, the Most Revd Michael Curry, urged “all Episcopalians and people of good will and faith to pray for those who have died, those who are in harm’s way, those who seek to help in any way; and to pray for us as a human family.” In a video message, he asked people watching to join him in praying the Lord’s Prayer.