My prayers are with the people of France, particularly of Paris, in these days when terrorism has reared its ugly head by spreading violence and pain among innocent people. As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said, one cannot do violence in the name of God and religion. It is unacceptable and inhuman. I invite the people of San Antonio to join me in praying for healing for all those who have been injured, for peace among the families who have been harmed, and for the repose of the souls of those who have died so tragically.
I strongly counsel our political leaders not to utilize this terrible situation for personal political gain, or to feed the worst of human impulses in response to this attack. Specifically, I refer to the need to treat the refugees who are innocent with compassion and decency. The overwhelming number of refugees fleeing to the west are coming precisely to escape the same horrific violence in their own lands. Many of these refugees are Christians who have been persecuted; who have lost their homes, their businesses, their schools, and their churches in the Syrian civil war. Additionally, many Muslims, who are not of the same sect as the ISIS fighters, have also been persecuted. Xenophobia is not a solution to this problem.
As has been stated by many, it is important to remember that these horrific attacks are the efforts of extremists and do not reflect the peaceful people of Middle Eastern descent here and around the world.
We must act according to the best of who we are as a society in these situations, and not according to our fears.