October 27, 2018

The Cathedral issues a prayer for victims and families and calls for national healing, reconciliation, and leadership to confront the bigotry and hate fueling today’s violenc

WASHINGTON – In response to the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue today, which was motivated by anti-Semitic hatred, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, issued the following statement:

“Our hearts are heavy today after a gunman who has espoused virulently anti-Semitic views wounded and killed worshipers and police who responded to the scene. We pray especially for the victims and their families, and for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and of the United States, as it confronts this horrifying display of anti-Semitic hate and violence.

“With gratitude, we lift up the members of Tree of Life Synagogue and the first responders for their courage, grace and strength in responding to this assault on their lives and their inherent human dignity. We know that our Jewish brothers and sisters will move forward with the support of all people of faith who are committed to openness, acceptance and love for all people. Today and every day, Washington National Cathedral stands side by side with the Tree of Life synagogue and the Jewish people, defending the virtues for which it was attacked today.

“Unfortunately, today’s events are not isolated, but a tragic escalation of intolerance and politically motived, terroristic violence against people for who they are – their religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or political views. It comes after a week of attempted bombings of journalists and political leaders. And it comes just one day after the Cathedral laid to rest the remains of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in 1998 because he was gay.

“It’s on us – each and every one of us – to stand against this kind of hatred and violence with love. We must reject the anti-Semitism that claimed too many lives this morning, and the homophobia that claimed Matthew’s life 20 years ago. As people who believe in the power of love, we offer a rebuke to those who would do violence to the ‘other’ motivated by the hatred they carry in their hearts.

“Today’s shooting is also yet another troubling reminder that our nation faces an epidemic of gun violence. As Christians, our love for our neighbors as ourselves compels us to pursue commonsense strategies to protect our fellow citizens. Our challenge is to resist the temptation to see such tragedies only through a political lens, but rather to instead do the hard and necessary work of uniting people around policies that will help prevent these kinds of shootings in the future.

“In the wake of today’s tragic events, Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer:

“O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Tony Franquiz, West End Strategy Team • (202) 374-5393 • [email protected]


About Washington National Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral is dedicated to serve as a house of prayer for all people and a spiritual home for the nation. It seeks to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, reconciliation among faiths, and compassion in the world.