Bridgeport Bishop: Anti-Semitism Is ‘Morally Abhorrent’ and ‘Unspeakable Evil’

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TONY RANZE/AFP/Getty
THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

The Catholic bishop of Bridgeport, CT, has condemned anti-Semitism in the strongest of terms, following the discovery of a swastika painted on the door of his cathedral.

“I am appalled and outraged by this act of vandalism against the Mother Church of our Diocese and this brazen and disgusting display of anti-Semitism which is morally abhorrent and an affront to our Catholic faith,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in a statement over the weekend.

“It is deeply distressing to see such a display of hatred at a time when we need to strengthen our efforts to come together as a community in mutual respect and support,” said the bishop, who is on retreat with the other bishops of the United States outside Chicago.

“My thoughts and prayers are with our Jewish brothers and sisters in the city of Bridgeport and beyond,” he said. “We stand with you and condemn every form of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry wherever it may be found.”

Noting that the perpetrator of the church vandalism is still at large, Caggiano expressed his hope that the person may be apprehended soon, while repeating his revulsion at the act and what it bespeaks.

“I am deeply disturbed and outraged that someone would violate the sanctity of our Church,” he said. “To use a clearly anti-Semitic symbol is participating in unspeakable evil.”

“I know I speak for everyone at the Cathedral Parish and the Diocese as we condemn the act, we condemn what it signifies, and we hope the perpetrator will be found,” he concluded.

In late October, a Saturday morning attack by a gunman at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 people are dead and seven others injured, in the worst single attack on the Jewish people in U.S. history.

In response, President Trump issued a forceful condemnation of the act as well as the underlying hatred that motivated it. “This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us,” Trump said. “It’s an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world. This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst.”

Last January, Pope Francis urged the world to wake up to the evils of anti-Semitism, calling out the complicity of modern society that sometimes turns a blind eye to wrongdoing being perpetrated around us.

Speaking before participants in a conference on the responsibility of States, institutions and individuals in the struggle against anti-Semitism and crimes associated with anti-Semitic hatred, Francis said that the enemy against which we fight “is not only hatred in all of its forms, but even more fundamentally, indifference; for it is indifference that paralyzes and impedes us from doing what is right even when we know that it is right.”

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