Violence Against Jewish Community Condemned as ‘Attack on Us All’

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Cardinal Dolan decried the weekend attack in which five people were stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in Monsey in Rockland County.

His statement, issued Dec. 29, is as follows: “The news of last night’s attack at the home of a Jewish family in Monsey, New York, is the latest in a series of sickening acts of violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters. Such acts must be condemned completely and without reservation as totally contrary to everything that people of faith stand for. 

“An attack on any individual or group because of his or her religious beliefs is an attack on us all. This hatred has no place in our city, state, or nation, or anywhere else on our planet. 

“At my Sunday Mass this morning, I prayed in a special way in solidarity with the victims of these heinous acts of violence, and urge all people to come together in a spirit of unity to reject such hatred and bigotry wherever it occurs.”

According to news reports, a 37-year-old man reportedly burst into the home in the Orthodox Jewish community late Saturday night, Dec. 28. He was later arrested and arraigned, and pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.

Bail was set at $5 million and at press time he remained jailed.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, vice president of the U.S. bishops, in a Dec. 29 statement, voiced his “outrage in learning of the violent attack on a Jewish household in New York during their celebration of Hanukkah.” He added: “We are particularly disturbed that this crime comes as only the latest of such vile acts of anti-Semitism in our nation.”

The archbishop asked pastors in the archdiocese to offer special prayers on Jan. 1, the liturgical feast of Mary, Mother of God, for “the protection of our Jewish brothers and sisters and the eradication of anti-Semitism from our society” and to “reaffirm...that all forms of anti-Semitism are evil and have no place in our community.”

“This past week, which should have been a holy celebration of lights, has been marked with tragedy and violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters,” said a Dec. 29 statement by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. “We also remember the recent attacks at a Jersey City kosher market that left three dead.”

Bishop DiMarzio added, “Hate like this has no place in a civil society. Today we are reminded it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Let us be that light as we pray for peace and practice tolerance today and always.”

“This is yet one more reminder to us how important it is to promote a culture of life everywhere,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany, in a Dec. 29 statement. “My own faith is one of many that teaches that every human person is to be respected and loved as a child of God, a human being of ultimate moral worth.”

Citing nine anti-Semitic attacks in New York in a nine-day span, Bishop Scharfenberger said, “Such acts must be condemned in the name of God who loves all of humanity and, indeed, humanity itself.”

In a Dec. 30 statement, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago called the attack in Monsey “an unspeakable act of depravity. This violent act exhibits a level of depravity that many of us believed to be unimaginable.”

The council added, “This creeping religious intolerance gripping our nation can no longer be ignored...Members of the diverse faiths in the United States must renounce any ideology that seeks to justify violence against any group of people based upon their faith.”

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