Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chair of the USCCB religious liberty committee. / Credit: Catholic News Agency
CNA Staff, Nov 2, 2023 / 12:25 pm (CNA).
New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan this week condemned what he said were “outbreaks of religious hatred” in the United States amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, urging repentance on the part of offenders and for “people of goodwill” to “stand courageously for peace.”
The prelate’s remarks were posted Wednesday in a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where Dolan is chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty.
“In recent days here in America, where for hundreds of years many have sought refuge from religious persecution, we have seen outbreaks of religious hatred that shock the conscience,” Dolan said.
The cardinal made reference to the October stabbing of a 6-year-old Muslim boy in Chicago. Officials said that killing came about after the landlord of the boy’s family targeted them specifically because they were Muslim.
Dolan said it was “especially disheartening” to learn that the accused killer in that incident “reportedly identifies as Catholic.”
“Nothing could be more antithetical to our Church’s teachings than this man’s alleged crime,” Dolan said. “And as countless voices celebrate the brutal terrorist attacks of Oct. 7, our Jewish brothers and sisters reasonably fear for their lives.”
The weeks following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks against Israel, in which the terrorist group killed more than 1,300 Israelis and Israel in turn declared war on Hamas, have seen reports of increased antisemitism incidents throughout the world and the United States.
FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress this week that the threat of antisemitism “is reaching, in some way, sort of historic levels” in the United States, while incidents of rising antisemitism around the globe have likewise been reported.
“In the face of such base hatred, we must affirm certain fundamental truths,” Dolan said in his statement. “Every human life is of equally incalculable worth. Hating your neighbors is a grave sin against God, who created us all in his image and likeness. Violence only begets more violence, not justice.”
“May those whose hearts have been gripped by hatred repent, and may people of goodwill stand courageously for peace,” the cardinal said.