- Created: February 21, 2017
- Written by Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
The Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies was established to honor the lifelong work of Dr. Richard Lux who served as a national and community voice in promoting common understanding and respect between the Catholic and Jewish communities. As such, it is the mission of the Lux Center to instill the knowledge, understanding and skills to advance interreligious dialogue and relations in future Catholic priests and religious leaders serving across the United States, Canada and throughout the world.
It is with this in mind that the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies condemns the rise of discrimination, intolerance and hatred that currently plagues the great country of the United States of America. The United States has been founded on principles of religious freedom and equal opportunities for all men and women. Religious intolerance, including heightened Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and racism must be acknowledged and voices must rise in opposition.
In particular, the Lux Center recognizes the recent threats and acts of violence perpetrated against Jewish communities in many cities throughout our country. The Milwaukee Jewish Community received two bomb threats during the past few weeks which required the immediate evacuation of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Center and the Milwaukee Jewish Day School. While there were no actual basis to these threats, it has caused an unease within these institutions and the Jewish community, while daily life proceeds as usual. Dozens of Jewish Community Centers across the country received similar threats on the same dates.
In an act of hatred in St. Louis, a Jewish cemetery was desecrated. Members of the Muslim community and the Christian communities of St. Louis, as well as Vice-President Mike Pence, came forward to assist in the clean-up of the cemetery in an amazing exhibition of solidarity and support.
The Lux Center will continue to build bridges of understanding between all members of our multi-faith community. Voices must be heard when racism in the United States raises its ugly head, when Christian communities throughout the world are attacked, when unequal policies target particular ethnic or religious groups. It is important to continue to create bonds instead of barriers that highlight what brings us together as human beings and stand together to ensure that we continue to live together in support of one another in order to promote peace.
Bonnie Shafrin, Director,
Lux Center for Jewish-Catholic Studies
Very Rev. Msgr. Ross Shecterle, President-Rector,
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology