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Episcopal Church in Europe responds to acts of anti-Semitism

Posted on: May 1, 2015 9:45 AM
Central nave of the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris
Photo Credit: GO69 (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Related Categories: Bp Whalon, Interfaith, Judaism, nifcon, Paris

[Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe] In a letter to Haim Korsia, Grand Rabbi of France, Suffragan Bishop of Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe Pierre Whalon and the Very Reverend Lucinda Laird, dean of the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris, expressed solidarity with the Jewish community in the face of growing anti-Semitism in France, and across Europe.

The letter followed an incident in which the Cathedral wall along the avenue George V was defaced with anti-Jewish graffiti.

“It is intolerable that anti-Semitism is rising again in our countries,” the two said. With this deplorable act, “we felt that Christians were being targeted, as well. Whoever is attacking the Jews in France is attacking us as well.” “Whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, we are all one human family and worthy of respect."

Bishop Whalon and Dean Laird recalled an earlier expression of solidarity, when synagogues were damaged during the French Presidential election of 2002.

Then, Episcopal Churches in Europe collected funds to help repair these places of worship. Later, when mosques were damaged as well, additional funds were raised. The collected funds were then shared between the two communities.

The Cathedral hosted a Christian-Jewish-Muslim summit later that year to promote dialogue and foster stronger relationships among the three religious communities in Paris.

In their recent letter to the Grand Rabbi, Whalon and Laird concluded, “We will stand by your side until hatred is undone by solidarity.”

According to a recent article in Le Figaro, the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) reports that 51 per cent of racist acts in France were committed against the Jewish community, and that the number of anti-Semitic acts in France doubled in the last year. The Jewish community represents only 1 per cent of the French population.