Following a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, Bishop David Zubik decried “anti-Jewish bigotry” as a “terrible sin.”
“As we pray for peace in our communities and comfort for the grieving, we must put prayer into action by loving our neighbors and working to make ‘Never again!’ a reality,” the Pittsburgh prelate said in a statement.
The shooting, which occurred on the Jewish Sabbath at the Tree of Life Congregation, left at least ten individuals dead and others injured. The gunman eventually surrendered and has been taken in by the Pittsburgh police.
Three police officers were wounded, though their injuries are said to be non-life-threatening.
In his statement, Zubik recalled the longstanding ties between the synagogue and the local Catholic community.
“As we are all devastated by this morning’s massacre at Tree of Life Congregation, my heart and my prayers are especially lifted up for our Jewish sisters and brothers and the law enforcement officers who rushed into harm’s way,” he said. “The relationship between Tree of Life and the Diocese of Pittsburgh has been close over many years.”
“May God free us from fear and hatred, and sow peace in our lives, our communities and in the world,” Zubik concluded.
The head of the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, also issued a statement of solidarity with the Jewish community and pleaded with public officials to confront “the plague of gun violence.”
“To our brothers and sisters of the Jewish community, we stand with you,” DiNardo said. “We condemn all acts of violence and hate and yet again, call on our nation and public officials to confront the plague of gun 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.”
“I commend to our Lord the victims, including first responders, and for the consolation of their families,” said DiNardo. “May Almighty God be with them and bring them comfort at this tragic time.”