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Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, on the Tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

October 28, 2018

We reach out through our grief and shock to our Jewish brothers and sisters and with them offer our prayers to the Almighty, the God of Abraham. 

We pray for healing of those caught in this madness as they gathered in their sanctuary to honor the Sabbath and rejoice at the naming of an infant.

Let us also condemn in the strongest terms this anti-Semitic act of depravity and the rhetoric, heartlessness and apathy that have allowed hatred to flourish in our society.

Make no mistake. Words incubate evil and allow it space to be accepted. Words that give voice to fearmongering that causes people to arm themselves against anyone who is “other.”

And it will take more than words to stop this predictable maelstrom of hostility and violence that threatens to change our nation.

Faced with the horror at the Tree of Life Synagogue our resolve should be to take action. Let us come together in prayer and remembrance, but also in common cause to find ways to stand against anti-Semitism and all similar hatred. 

This is a war waged against decency and only by working together, recognizing each other’s God-given rights, will society grow in peace and justice. 

As Abraham Lincoln said in speaking of the need for national healing, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.” We affirm the hope found in the words of the mourners’ Kaddish, “He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.”

For the Spanish version of the statement, please click here.

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