Spanish Archbishop says “violence will not have the last word”

Addressing the hundreds of faithful gathered in the Cathedral of Pamplona, Spain, to honor those who lost their lives in last week’s terrorist attacks in Madrid, Archbishop Feranando Sebastián of Pamplona and Tudela called on Spaniards to overcome suffering through their Christian faith.

“Neither hatred, nor violence, or death will have the last word,” said during the Mass which was attended by federal and local government officials, including the Military Commander of Navarre whose son was killed in the attacks.

200 candles were lit and placed in front of the altar, where the Archbishop prayed at the beginning of Mass for the eternal repose of those killed on March 11.

Archbishop Sebastián honored “the memory of those who died as a consequence of the horrible attacks,” and he expressed his “heartfelt affection and complete support for those wounded and for the family members of those who have endured and are continuing to endure their time of anguish.”

He also appealed to Christian faith to overcome the pain because it “tells us that neither hatred, nor violence, nor death will have the last world”  “Therefore, overcoming the agony that will still feel in our hearts, we can look to the future with hope,” he added.

“In addition to committing acts which were socially intolerable and completely unacceptable from a political perspective,” he said, “they have committed a grave sin, raising themselves up to be the judges of good and evil and making themselves the arbitrators of life and death, destroying the lives of so many people and increasing the pain of so many families.”

The Archbishop called on the faithful to avoid giving into hatred, saying, “If those who hate us drives us to hate them in return, they will have overcome us morally and will have achieved in accelerating and aggravating the conflicts and confrontations.” 

Lastly, he prayed to God “for the victims, dead and wounded” and begged for “comfort and strength for their families and friends.”  “We pray for the repentance and moral salvation of those who caused such pain, we pray for acceptance, strength, unity for the whole society, political leaders and public opinion.”

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