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‘Only love can conquer evil and violence,’ Los Angeles archbishop says in wake of Sri Lanka bombings

“Only love can conquer evil and violence,” the head of the Roman Catholic Los Angeles Archdiocese said Sunday in a statement offering prayers for the hundreds killed and wounded following  Easter Sunday bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
“We ask Jesus this morning for the courage to love and we pray for the conversion of every heart that is hardened by hatred,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez, who heads the archdiocese that serves more than 4.3 million Catholics in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose H. Gomez uses incense on the altar during a special Mass in recognition of all immigrants at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels church in downtown Los Angeles in July, 2014. (File photo by Steven Georges, contributing photographer)
“May the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our mother and the mother of mercy, console those who are suffering and watch over all of us. And may God grant us peace,” Gomez’s statement said.
More than 10,000 people who attended Easter Masses at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles prayed for all those affected by the bombings, said a statement from the archdiocese, which also said it welcomed 1,560 new Catholics during the Saturday Easter Vigil.
Also, the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the attacks and urged support for the victims.
“We stand in solidarity with the Christian worshippers in Sri Lanka and others who were the targets of hated and intolerance on one of Christianity’s most sacred holidays,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We also offer our support to members of the Sri Lankan community living in Southern California. We ask American Muslims in the Greater Los Angeles area to join people around the world in saying, Pray for Sri Lanka.”
City News Service contributed to this story.
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