Cardinal Sodano Urges Hope in Times of Terrorism

Presides at a Mass for Madrid Victims

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ROME, MARCH 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In the face of terrorism, Christians must recall the moral values that constitute the basis of coexistence, says Cardinal Angelo Sodano.



The Vatican secretary of state delivered that message in a homily today when presiding at a Mass in Rome in memory of the victims of the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain.

"Once again Cain has killed Abel!" the cardinal said in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, of which the king of Spain is an honorary canon. "Once again man's hatred has brought death to innocent persons!"

Addressing the ambassadors of Spain to Italy, to the Holy See, and to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps and members of the Italian government, the Pope's representative made an urgent appeal to Christian hope which is based on the resurrection of Christ.

"He can move even the hearts of the most rebellious of men, can open the eyes of those who are blind," the cardinal said. "For this, today we wish to invoke God almighty and all merciful to help us in this hour of trial, helping even the most hardened of hearts to understand what is the only path to follow for those who see themselves as sons of the Father who is in heaven."

The cardinal noted "the explosive mixture of hatred, which can close itself within the heart of man and can explode when one least" expects it.

"Our duty will be, therefore, to continue to remind the men and women of our times of those great moral values that alone can give a secure foundation to human society," he said. "It will be our duty to remind everyone of the primacy of God in our lives, of that God who created us and who one day will judge us."

"The providence of God always watches over us," Cardinal Sodano said, adding that our "trust in God does not release us from our personal commitment to work to make those evils disappear which afflict our society."

He concluded: "Certainly, there are in the world those who speak of violence and death. But with the Pope today we wish to cry out to the world: 'Love is stronger than death! Love will triumph!'"