On Feb. 27, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia denounced the rise in anti-Semitic attacks and threats to Jewish community centers in the United States. “As a community, we must...continually and loudly reject attempts to alienate and persecute the members of any religious tradition,” Archbishop Chaput said in a written statement. He called on “members of diverse faith and ethnic communities” to “stand up for one another and improve the quality of life for everyone by building bridges of trust and understanding.”
It is our duty to decry any instance of anti-Semitism as “a blasphemy against God’s chosen people.”
This statement arrives at a critical time. According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2015 alone there were over 900 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States; over 10 percent occurred on college campuses. Last year also saw an increase in online harassment. According to the A.D.L. report “Anti-Semitic Targeting of Journalists During the 2016 President Campaign,” over 800 journalists received anti-Semitic tweets. And this year, there have been over 50 bomb threats called into Jewish communities across the country in the new year.
Political leaders in both major parties have condemned these anti-Semitic acts. After being criticized for his reticence on the subject, President Donald J. Trump last month described the threats as “painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” Institutions and communities with histories of anti-Semitism, including the Catholic Church, have even more pressing reasons to denounce these expressions of hate. Archbishop Chaput reminds us that as Christians, it is our duty to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and decry any instance of anti-Semitism as “a blasphemy against God’s chosen people.”