Q. 1. My understanding of 911, more specifically the destruction of the Twin Towers, is that it involved Muslim extremists who viewed all Christians as infideles who should be killed. Since the attack of these Muslims was against Christians, would it not be fair to say that the Catholics who died as a result of the vicious attack on the Twin Towers, they were Catholic martyrs of the faith?
A. 1. To answer that question, I would like to make a statement and ask two questions in response to your question. First, through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we were sent forth to preach and defend our Catholic faith. Those who died in the vicious attack on the Twin Towers during 9-11, was it in defence of the Catholic faith that was being preached at the time?
Secondly, did "they chose death over life for their faith?" Did the victims of 9-11 chose death for Christ over life?
For a person to be considered a Catholic martyrs, three conditions must be met. First of all, the person must be preaching the Catholic faith, either in words or actions. Secondly, there must be a manifestation of hatred towards the Catholic faith with the intent to kill unless Jesus Christ is renounced (and he/she converts to Islam). Finally, the person, knowing he will die if he does not renounce his faith, must voluntarily accept death for Christ.
In 9-11, (A) there was no indication that the victims died in defence of their faith, and (B) there was no indication that they voluntarily accepted their death for Christ because they refused to renounce the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
There is no doubt that as a result of 9-11, there were many victims of violence among the dead and the living who loved lost ones. Some of the deceased victims were Christians; others were not. In His infinite mercy, God has judged each one according to his/her life, especially during the last moment of their lives. May God have mercy on their souls.