UP Catholic 12 18 2015 E Edition Page 15

(CNA/EWTN News) - Chris- tian, Jewish and Muslim leaders offered prayers and comfort at an interreligious fathering in San Bernardi- no on Dec. 7, following the aftermath of the Dec. 2 mass shooting there. We know that we cannot go back to the way things were before this tragedy occurred, said Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino. We cannot fo back. We cant forget. Yet we pray. And we seek healing and strength. We want what is good for our community. We do not want evil to win over our hearts, our pain to paralyze our future, he said. We do not want our hearts to turn against any person, any race, any religion. Bishop Barnes was among the several speakers at an interreligious prayer vigil at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathe- dral in San Bernardino. The fathering aimed to comfort friends and familily members of the victims, first responders, and other civic leaders affect- ed by the attack that killed 14 at a health care center in San Bernardino. FBI officials say the attack's perpetrators were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple. The couple led the scene of the attack and were later killed by police. At the interreligious gath- ering, Imam Aslam Abdullah said that every life is pre- cious. We believe that each one of us has a right to live the way God wants us to live. We be- lieve that life must be protect- ed. And as people belonging to different religions, we hold that. Life is precious, he said, according to the Los Angeles archdiocese newspaper The Tidings. The imam said the killers wanted people of different religions to hate each other and to be disunited. He said the killers failed because we substitute love. Bishop Barnes said to first responders, You have wit- nessed this horrible tragedy, and our prayers are for your healing and our prayers are in thanksgiving to you, for your commitment to protect and to serve. The bishop acknowledged that those affected will re- spond differently. For some of us, it will take much longer to heal. And we respect where each person is in their pain, in their anger, in their sorrow, in their confu- sion. The bishop invited attendees to be open to God. Let your hearts and your minds be open to Gods message for you, for all of us, for our communities and our families, he said. Be open to where our God, a God of mercy and love, leads us. Bishop Barnes encouraged those gathered to be com- mitted workers for justice and peace and strong witnesses to Gods presence and mercy in our homes, in our commu- nity and in our world. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC December 18, 2015 15 Don't let evil win over your hearts, urges bishop of San Bernardino

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