Denouncing hatred and violence

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As we prepare for the start of a new year, let us pray for the rebirth of a spirit of true tolerance and respect throughout our nation, especially in light of the increasing acts of hate and bigotry that we see almost daily.

My heart was sickened to hear about the recent incidents of antisemitism in my former home of New York City. One of those attacks was witnessed by one of my family members, occurring only three city blocks from where I grew up as a boy. It is frightening, disgusting and appalling to think that a person would be singled out for harm or abuse simply because they are Jewish. The same would be true if someone were harmed or insulted because of their ethnic, racial or economic background. Those who perpetrate such acts of hatred and violence must be stopped. They do not stand for the values that unite us as a country and form the heart of our Christian faith.

All people of every faith and background must unequivocally denounce such hatred and stand together, as we start this new year, to foster a true sense of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding in all of our communities.

To do less is to betray who were are as Americans. To do less is to betray our Catholic faith.

The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.