Be Who God Meant You To Be And you Will Set The World On Fire

Bishop's Statement on Religious Intolerance

November 17, 2016

My dear friends,

Saddened by the continuing news of division within our great nation, a division which has been revealed most recently through renewed acts of hatred, discrimination and religious intolerance, I write you this day as an act of solidarity with others in the faith community.

While we may think these problems only occur elsewhere, the local news from the past week reporting on anti‐Jewish graffiti at Mt. Tom, as well as a lesser reported but no less threatening incident at the West Springfield mosque in which a group of young people recently went to this sacred space, breaking bottles of alcohol outside the mosque, serve as sad reminders that this is a trouble much closer to home.

Such actions not only cause fear, anger and anxiety among those targeted, but are also a stain against the whole of our civilized society. As a people of faith, we have a moral obligation to speak out and reject such divisive actions and not remain silent. Parents have a special and unique obligation to speak with their children about the harm such actions can cause.

And so I join my voice with those of other local interfaith and ecumenical leaders, speaking out in solidarity against acts of hatred, discrimination and intolerance, those which occur locally and those that happen across our nation. I urge all in the Catholic community to join me in prayer and solidarity with our interfaith and ecumenical neighbors, standing together as a sign of hope in these turbulent times.

This weekend as the Catholic Church prepares to close out this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us not forget that our commitment to acts of mercy is ongoing, and always extended to all our neighbors in need.

In the coming days as we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, let our common prayer be for a true healing of the divisions that exist within our county, so that we can be truly a united nation.

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