Colours of Belgian flag light up Wollongong cathedral

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The colours of the Belgian flag illuminated St Francis Xavier Cathedral, Wollongong, last night in tribute to the victims of the Brussels terror attacks.

The Bishop of Wollongong, Bishop Peter Ingham, said the attacks were “evil” and “should be condemned”.

“The increasing incidences of these attacks on people going about their ordinary lives demonstrate how vulnerable we all are to this assault on humanity,” he said.

But he called for people to look for the good in the wake of the tragedy.

“But we must not lose heart or resolve. We must overcome evil with love,” he said.

“Already we see the generosity, goodness and heroism such as the airport baggage worker pulling seven people to safety.

“As Jesus said, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.

“I join Pope Francis as we, ‘Entrust to God’s mercy those who died and, in prayer, share the pain of their loved ones’.”

Bishop Ingham had called for the congregation and Catholics of Wollongong “to come together … as an entire diocese” for the tribute after the 9pm Chrism Mass.

The bishop described it as a “fitting opportunity for us, in solidarity with Belgium and all of Europe, to pray together as a community for the victims and their families and those offering assistance”.

“It feels as if Good Friday has come three days early.”

Bishop Ingham quoted Brussels Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols, who said, “It’s a great mystery that this has all happened on the threshold of Holy Week, the most sacred time for Christians, when we are about to mark Good Friday and Easter. In the face of such madness, we should adopt the courageous attitude of Mary, who remained at the foot of the cross in silence.’”