Spare the Hostages' Lives!
, 10/24/2002
Moscow - An Appeal by the Representative of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Russia, Metropolitan Thaddeus Kondrusiewcz. Russian society is shocked by the news of the seizing of hundreds of hostages in Moscow. Innocent people of different ethnic origins and faiths, Russian citizens as well as foreigners, quietly relaxing in the House of Culture were the object of a terrorist act.
In this critical and difficult situation the Catholic Church in Russia is praying for the speedy and peaceful release of the hostages.

In the name of the one true God, we call upon those broke into the theatre with arms; "Spare those innocent lives, for life is the gift of the Creator!"

We ask our government authorities, international society, religious leaders - particularly Muslim religious leaders - and public figures; "Do your utmost to find a folly responsible way out of this tragedy, using negotiations without resorting to force and bloodshed.

We call upon our fellow country-men and women: "Remain composed and calm, do not get caught up with violence and creed or ethnic origin!" True religion always invites to peace and love of others, and people of different ethnic backgrounds can live together as brothers and sisters. Violence and terror were never and can never be a way of settling conflicts.

May the one true God grant all of us strength and wisdom to fittingly live through this attack on the principals of mutual love, respect and compliance with the law. May the responsible actions of our citizens help to establish a truly civilized society in our country.