Clergy address anger, blame

BY HEATHER MOYER | BOSTON | September 12, 2001



"We've just had our sanctuary open for prayer, and most of our people have been rational with their feelings."

—Rev. Martin McLee


After terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, many pastors are reporting that other feelings are surfacing besides deep sadness and shock. Many are voicing their anger at any alleged perpetrators of the terrorism, or they are blaming airport security or other agencies for the entire situation, clergy reported.

Faith leaders said they will need to help people cope with those feelings too as time goes on.

In Boston, where two of yesterday's hijacked planes originated, most church doors remained open to all. "We've just had our sanctuary open for prayer, and most of our people have been rational with their feelings," said the Rev. Martin McLee of Union Methodist Church in Boston. "We're doing our best to address the loss now and not focus on what we don't know. We have a fairly multicultural church too, so we don't tend to have any folks that might jump to blame."

McLee said his church has seen many people come through its doors in the past day and they've just been doing their best to be there for people.

The Rev. Ingo Dutzmann of First Lutheran Church in Boston added, "Most are more tinged with sadness than hatred, and I'm glad for that at least," he said. He said that as time passes and they discover more connections between their congregation and those who died in the tragedies, they expect to experience more shock and sadness.

Dutzmann said that his church is trying to focus people on how they can help others during this time of trauma. "We're encouraging people to donate money to relief funds," he said.

In Washington, DC, feelings are similar. Father Vincent Harris of St. George's Episcopal Church said they've seen sadness in their daily worship services. "We're all praying for the victims and the perpetrators," said Harris. He said they're also helping people donate blood and are encouraging people to make cash donations.

Harris said he's making sure that they're focusing on prayer and recovery. "We're praying that God will take away this hatred," said Harris. "We all have a lot of questions as to why (this was all done), but we should just keep in mind that we should work for justice and peace. Revenge won't stop actions like (the terrorism)."


Related Topics:

Counseling, prayers offered in bombing wake

Churches respond to Boston bombings

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