Bishop Scott Mayer has issued the following statement in the wake of the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27, 2018, that killed at least 11 congregants and left four police officers and two others wounded. A man armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns opened fire while shouting anti-Semitic slurs. The shooter was wounded and was taken into police custody. On Saturday night, news reports said he was is in stable condition in a hospital.
Bishop Mayer’s statement
The mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh on a peaceful Saturday morning has left our country shaken.
This attack is among the deadliest against the Jewish community in our nation, and it is imperative that Christians rise to stand in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors as we denounce this attack specifically and antisemitism particularly.
The New York Times reported on Saturday, “According to an annual report by the Anti-Defamation League issued earlier this year, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged 57 percent in 2017, the largest rise in a single year since the A.D.L. began tracking such crimes in 1979.”
The Christian church’s long shameful history of anti-Semitism haunts us at times such as these, and it is vital that we remember that history, even as we repent of it. We in this diocese are particularly grateful for the generosity of spirit offered to us by our friends at Temple Beth El here in Fort Worth, who supported us as we went through a sad schism, offering us their beautiful Temple for gatherings of all sorts when we were shut out of various other facilities.
In the strongest possible way we reject this hatred, this anti-Semitism. At every opportunity we must protest and refute any anti-Semitism that rears its ugly head in our churches and in our society.
We cannot remain silent in the face of these murders. As we join in the mourning, let us vow to hold the people in Pittsburgh in our prayers and to work to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism in our country.
From the Book of Common Prayer
In Times of Conflict
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us,
in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront
one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work
together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.