National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Boston cardinal says all feel 'deep sorrow' for victims of explosions

  • Police and runners react following two explosions Monday at the Boston Marathon finish area. (CNS/MetroWest Daily News/Ken McGagh, handout via Reuters)
  • A runner and race officials at the finish line of the Boston Marathon react to an explosion Monday. (CNS/MetroWest Daily News/Ken McGagh, handout via Reuters)
  • Runners head to finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts nearby Monday. (CNS/Dan Lampariello, exclusive to Reuters)
  • An injured victim is carried from the scene of an explosion Monday at the Boston Marathon. (CNS/Daily Free Press/Kenshin Okubo, Boston University handout via Reuters)
  • A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up for the Boston Marathon after explosions went off at the 117th marathon Monday. (CNS/Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
Boston

Within hours of two explosions taking place Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Cardinal Sean O'Malley sent a message of prayer and support for those injured, their loved ones and those who experienced the trauma of the tragedy.

"The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon today," he said.

Close to 3 p.m., the Boston Police Department reported that officers had responded to two large explosions along the Boston Marathon route that left three people dead, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 140 wounded.

"The citizens of the city of Boston and the commonwealth of Massachusetts are blessed by the bravery and heroism of many, particularly the men and women of the police and fire departments and emergency services who responded within moments of these tragic events," the cardinal said.

Many expressed fear the explosions, which were seconds apart, were carried out by terrorists, and The Associated Press reported that federal officials were treating the bombings as an act of terrorism.

email-graphic.jpgThe latest news... right to your inbox. Sign up for NCR email alerts.

As of early Tuesday, no one had yet stepped forward to claim responsibility for the act, which took place on Patriot's Day, a civic holiday in Massachusetts that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution.

O'Malley commended the leadership efforts of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the city's police commissioner, Ed Davis.

"(They) are providing the leadership that will see us through this most difficult time and ensure that proper procedures are followed to protect the public safety," O'Malley said.

The cardinal also commended those who rushed to help at the scene of the tragedy.

"In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of people who immediately turned to help those in need today," he said.

O'Malley promised the Catholic church's support for other faith communities, promoting a message of hope in response to the tragedy.

"We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing," the cardinal said.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, as president of the U.S. bishops' conference, urged all "to pray for the souls of those killed, the healing of those injured and the restoration of peace for all of us unsettled by the bombings at a world renowned sporting event."

"Our special prayers are with the Archdiocese of Boston and the people there who are working in the aftermath of this crisis to address those wounded in so many ways by these events," he added in a statement issued a few hours after the explosions.

The "tragic end" to the marathon "reminds us all that evil exists and that life is fragile," Dolan said.

"The growing culture of violence in our world and even in our country calls for both wise security measures by government officials and an examination by all of us to see what we can personally do to enhance peace and respect for one another in our world," he said.

In a press briefing, President Barack Obama offered the nation's condolences to the victims and their families, saying he was confident residents of the "resilient town" that Boston is would pull together to take care of one another.

"And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way," he said.

Obama urged people not to "jump to conclusions" as to the reason for the bombings and said a full investigation was well under way. "We will get to the bottom of this. ... Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice," the president said.

In Boston, archdiocesan spokesman Terrence Donilon said the pastor at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish, Fr. James DiPerri, was to offer a special eucharistic Holy Hour with the rosary for the Boston bombing victims at Our Lady's Parish in Waltham.

Massachusetts' governor also called for prayer in a statement issued after the explosions.

"This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured," Patrick said.

[Christopher S. Pineo is a reporter at The Pilot, newspaper of the Boston archdiocese.]

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.