Two stories today from and about the USCCB – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
USCCB DAY OF MOURNING FOR HAGIA SOPHIA
I shared this article earlier today on Facebook and on my Twitter account. I feel it is important, especially in view of Turkey’s invitation to Pope Francis to visit Hagia Sophia, the former basilica and then museum now turned into a mosque. The Vatican has not issued any statement so far and has not responded to media requests for clarification about that invitation. To read the article, “US Catholic Bishops Declare ‘Day of Mourning’ Over Hagia Sophia Becoming Mosque,” click here: https://www.newsmax.com/us/Catholic-bishops-Hagia-Sophia-Turkey-mosque/2020/07/22/id/978466/
VIOLENCE AGAINST CATHOLIC SITES: US BISHOPS URGE LOVE IN RESPONSE TO HATRED
The Bishops of the United States respond to reports of increasing incidents of church vandalism and fires, and urge understanding and love in response to confusion and hatred.
By Vatican News
The Bishops’ Conference of the United States, the USCCB, has issued a statement in response to numerous attacks against Catholic churches, statues, and other religious symbols.
“Our nation finds itself in an extraordinary hour of cultural conflict,” reads the statement from Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City.
The two archbishops, chairmen respectively of the USCCB’s Committee on Religious Liberty and the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, point to numerous acts of violence in recent weeks, including an attack in Florida when a driver rammed his car into a church and attempted to set the building on fire. Numerous statues of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin have also “been defaced or even beheaded” in recent weeks, they note.
The historic mission church of San Gabriel in Los Angeles was destroyed by fire earlier in July, and the cause is still unknown.
“Whether those who committed these acts were troubled individuals crying out for help or agents of hate seeking to intimidate, the attacks are signs of a society in need of healing,” the archbishops wrote.
Acknowledging that the motives behind the incidents remain unclear, they said they are praying for those responsible, adding, “we remain vigilant against more of it.”
In their statement, the two prelates insist, “the path forward must be through the compassion and understanding practiced and taught by Jesus and His Holy Mother.” They encourage contemplation of “images of these examples of God’s love,” rather than destruction of them.
“Following the example of Our Lord,” say Archbishops Wenski and Coakley, “we respond to confusion with understanding and to hatred with love.”