Bishop Charles C. Thompson of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville has released a statement concerning the recent shooting incident at Temple Adath B’nai Israel in Evansville Tuesday morning:
“Evansville has, for generations, shined as a beacon of warm welcome and acceptance to people of many different faith traditions. We experience that legacy every spring when the city’s annual observance of the National Day of Prayer draws Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and others to the Four Freedoms Monument for community prayer.
“We pray together for our country that day, and we work together every day to assure that our city, our state and our country continue to welcome and respect all, regardless of their religious beliefs or their nationalities. We aspire to be one nation with a beautifully diverse faith community that makes America strong and vibrant.
“It is in that spirit that I stand with leaders of other faith communities in the Tri-State in support of our Jewish brothers and sisters, who recently endured a senseless act at Temple Adath B’nai Evansville.
“I speak for the Catholic community across Southwest Indiana in condemning this hate crime and all acts like it – and in offering prayers for everyone involved. At his general audience on Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis reminded the world that the path we are called to walk is challenging ‘because love is challenging, but it’s a path full of hope.’ May we all stand up in love and hope against every act of violence and hate, seeking to build up the human family.
“Our national anthem closes by calling America ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ Let us continue to work together bravely to assure that our hometowns and our nation be known always and everywhere for commitments to freedom of religion – and to freedom from prejudice and violence in the name of intimidation and persecution.”