In view of the consternation caused by the recent terrorist attack in the Austrian capitalthe Archbishop of Vienna, the Cardinal Christoph Schönbornasks the Viennese people to continue "by the road of solidarity, community and consideration".
No one should now let panic fool them into responding to hate with hate. "We will not give you our hatred!"Cardinal Schönborn exclaimed. "Even if we now have to keep our distance because of the pandemic, we cannot keep our distance in our hearts. As long as in our society the heat is stronger than the cold of hatred, we need not lose heart.".
Religious and political authorities united for peace
In the great liturgical celebration in suffrage and commemoration on Tuesday evening at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, representatives of all religious communities and numerous politicians expressed their condolences for the victims and their families.
"We ask for blessings and peace for the deceased, the wounded, those who mourn and for the whole country".Cardinal Schönborn explained at the beginning of the celebration. "Concord among religions must not be compromised by individual acts caused by hatred.". And he recalled that peace is never a finished product, but always consists of a network of many individual attentions.
During the great ecumenical prayer for peace in Salzburg CathedralIn the evening, many of the faithful prayed with the President of the Austrian Bishops' Conference, the Archbishop of Salzburg Franz LacknerThe Archbishop said that he is committed to peace and reconciliation between hostile peoples and ethnic groups. Archbishop Lackner encouraged everyone to oppose the act of terror "inwardly with all his strength of spirit and faith.".
Church prays for Austria
The National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Austria, Fr. Karl WallnerThe The only Christian response to the hatred of Islamic fundamentalism is the love that Jesus Christ exemplified.. "I write because it is very important to me that we encourage one another and remain united as a Church. I am happy to share with you a wonderful experience of solidarity: in the last few hours, many of our project partners, bishops, priests, religious, missionaries, lay people from Africa and the South have written to me: the universal Church prays for us in Austria, the universal Church prays for you!!".