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Press Release: NETWORK Expresses Sorrow about Deaths in Libya

FOR RELEASE: September 12, 2012  

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224,

Washington DC:  In response to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three U.S. Consulate staff members, this statement was released by Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK: “My heart is always broken when a violent act occurs, but those who claim that they kill in defense of religion cause a special kind of pain. The killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. Embassy staff are deplorable, no matter what their motivation, and their families and friends have a special place in my heart and prayers during this tragic time.”

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, also released the following statement:

We are deeply saddened today because of the heartbreaking deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three U.S. staff members in the U.S. Consulate in eastern Libya. Initial reports are that Libyan extremists used the existence of a film meant to demean Islam as an excuse to encourage people to attack the consulate.

While it is not clear if the extremists’ intentions were motivated by religion or politics, there is no excuse for the violence they created. We deplore the killings.

As Catholics, we also object to attacks on religious traditions – whether they represent Christian, Jewish, Islamic or other faiths. The existence of the film in question is very disrespectful, and we lament that as well.

At this time, we send our deepest condolences and prayers to all who have been personally affected by these terrible killings.