No amount of reason gives anyone the right to take another person’s life, even if that reason is in defense of one’s religious belief.
I therefore share my small voice in condemning last week’s storming of Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris, and the indiscriminate shooting of its employees, that spent the life of the publication’s editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier, and eleven more others, reportedly perpetuated by two French-born brothers with Algerian origin.
While we still cherish our personal private moments here in Europe, Marian and I join the people of the world, especially the peace-loving French people, in standing up for the universal concept of freedom of expression and the sacredly inviolable right to life of every human being.
Let this regretful event be our motivation in the pursuit of a more tolerant, respectful and understanding world that we can live in- a world that embraces all geographical and cultural boundaries.
This is a tall order, and quite an elusive dream, but we should not stop from believing.
And though we are thousands of miles away, we link our hearts today with the Filipino people in welcoming His Holiness, Pope Francis, and in appealing for his intercession to the Almighty, to make lasting peace real, and the love of one another the bedrock of our humanly existence.
May we all be spared from any future disasters, both natural and man-made.