President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference and Chairman for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Condemn Recent Rise in Antisemitic Incidents

A member of the Jewish community views anti-Semitic graffiti on tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim, France, May 2, 2004. Several graves were desecrated with swastikas and slogans written in German, and experts indicated the trend was increasing. (CNS photo from Reuters)

With a recent rise in the incidents across the country that have been antisemitic in nature, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs issued a call for prayers and unity in fostering a culture that rejects all forms of hatred.

Their full statement follows:

“The recent rise in antisemitic attacks across the nation is deeply troubling. We cannot remain silent when we witness our brothers and sisters suffering on account of being Jewish, and we will never tire of our commitment to decry every form of hatred, especially those formed in contempt of faith.

“Any attack on a community or individual on the basis of faith or otherwise is contrary to who we are called to be as the People of God. Pope Francis continually reminds us of our duty to build a culture of encounter by building bridges that transcend differences and divisions (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 215-217). In doing so, we must denounce violence unconditionally and take up dialogue.

“We remain steadfast in the promise of the Second Vatican Council to decry ‘all hatred, persecutions, and manifestations of antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time by anyone’ (Nostra Aetate, 4). This is integral to the irrevocable friendship we have cultivated and continue to build with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

“Our prayers are with those who have been harmed. May all people of good will unite in fostering a culture that rejects all forms of hatred, most especially antisemitism.”