[Episcopal News Service]
2001-295To the Editor:
I write in response to John Leo's reflections on a recent meeting of the bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States, and our concluding statement 'On Waging Reconciliation.' Far from 'turning a blind eye to evil,' as he asserts, our statement spoke of the 'shattering events of September 11,' and condemned 'ideology disguised as true religion,' which 'wreaks havoc and sudden death.' The statement said that 'through this suffering, we have come into a new solidarity with those in other parts of the world for whom the evil forces of terrorism are a continuing fear and reality.'
The Episcopal Church is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion and the bishops reflected during the week-long meeting about faith and the question posed by Jesus, 'Who is my neighbor?' We observed that as Christians we are called to radical peace-making, which is, as we said, 'nothing less than the right ordering of all things according to God's passionate desire for justness, for the full flourishing of humankind and all creation.'
Terrorism is indeed the worst threat our nation has ever faced. We can give thanks that, in the aftermath of this evil, not only have we witnessed incredible courage and generosity on the part of our citizens, but that our nation is solidly united to confront terrorism.
During these dark days, millions of Americans have turned to churches for comfort and meaning, even as churches have reached out to the grieving, the devastated, and the frightened. In our church we pray daily for our President and other national leaders, for all of our military forces and their families, and for peace in the world. Our prayers are part of our commitment as a faith community to 'wage reconciliation.'
The full statement of the bishops, 'On Waging Reconciliation,' and a report of our meeting may be found on the Episcopal Church website at www.episcopalchurch.org.
Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
Episcopal Church, USA