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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Canadians gather for Mass at church next to mosque where six were killed

People of many faiths gathered for a solidarity Mass at Notre-Dame-de-Foy church, next to the mosque belonging to the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center, where six men were killed by a gunman while they were praying.

Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, who had returned from Rome just hours before, called everyone to reject violence.

“Men and women of dialogue: This is what we are called to be. Full of respect and truth. Like Jesus, let us be mindful of the needs of those we live with. Let us learn to know them and to advance with them. We have a lot to gain from listening, meeting, and living together. We are made to enrich each other, and we’ll do it by learning how to love each other,” said Cardinal Lacroix.

Muslim leaders and members of the Muslim community, as well as Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and other high-level politicians, were in attendance at the Mass, which took place on 31st January.

The co-founder of the Islamic centre, Boufeldja Benabdallah, brought many to tears with his remarks. Referring to Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, the only suspect who is now accused of first-degree murder and attempted murder, Benabdallah said it is not Canada’s fault, but the acts of one individual who got lost.

Picture: Women exchange the sign of peace during a solidarity Mass on 31st January at the Notre-Dame-de-Foy church in Quebec City for the six victims who were killed by a lone gunman on 29th January at the mosque belonging to the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center. Notre-Dame-de-Foy is located next to the mosque. (CNS photo/Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence).