Published June 26, 2023 | En Español
ATLANTA—Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., offered the following statement in support of local Jewish communities June 26 following incidences of hate that occurred in Cobb County and in Macon:
“Peace and All Good Things. This is the greeting offered by St. Francis of Assisi whenever he met someone. It is a greeting I have adopted as my own episcopal motto as someone who follows the teachings and Rule of Life of St. Francis.
Today, I offer it from the bottom of my heart to our Jewish brothers and sisters, especially those from the Chabad of Cobb County and the Temple Beth Israel in Macon. During this weekend, these peaceful communities were subjected to hate. As people gathered inside Chabad and Temple Beth Israel to pray, a group outside was shouting lies and spewing hatred. The very thought of it is heartbreaking. All our communities should be able to gather for prayer without fear. I offer my condolences to Rabbi Ephraim Silverstone, Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar and their communities.
We know there are evil forces in this world that seek to divide us and our neighbors. We must name and confront this evil, but our real focus must be on the continued work of bringing peace and justice to our communities. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’
And so, we lift up our neighbors in prayer. We offer you our love and support, and we proclaim what is true. Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Racism is unacceptable. Hate will not win the day if we keep our eyes on justice and our hearts full of Peace and all Good Things.”