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US Bishops Mourn Those Slain in Synagogue

This weekend’s horrific massacre of eleven innocent people who were gathered in prayer in a synagogue in Pittsburgh to celebrate the birth of a child has sparked grief and outrage in the hearts of all believers.

In a statement issued yesterday morning, Bishop Joseph Bambera, chair of the Committee for Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), called the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, “a cowardly act” that deserved to be condemned by all Americans.

“Those killed and injured represent the best of who we are: people of faith gathered to pray and celebrate the birth of a child and officers responding to the ensuring violence with no concern for their own safety.”

The attack, perpetrated by 46-year-old Robert Bowers, left 11 people dead after an anti-Semitic rampage. Six others were injured, including four police officers. The gunman was also shot during an exchange of gunfire with police but is expected to survive.

“Anti-Semitism is to be condemned and has to be confronted by our nation, Bishop Bambera said. "The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stands with our Jewish brothers and sisters during this time of great distress. May God grant peace to the dead, healing to the injured, and comfort to the families of those hurt and killed and to all the Jewish Community.”

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement calling for prayer and action to put an end to violence.

“Violence as a response to political, racial, or religious differences must be confronted with all possible effort. God asks nothing less of us. He begs us back to our common humanity as His sons and daughters,” the Cardinal said.

“I commend to our Lord the victims, including first responders, and for the consolation of their families. May Almighty God be with them and bring them comfort at this tragic time."

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