March 15, 2019

The horrific and senseless acts of violence in yet more places of worship, this time two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, remind us all of the need for prayer, acts of solidarity as members of one human family and education to overcome fear, prejudice and ignorance.

All people are created in the image and likeness of God. The rich variety and diversity of people is a gift to humanity. We must strive to learn more about different cultures, languages and religions. We must become good neighbors and overcome the fear of those who are different from us.

Today, the 11 counties of northeastern and north-central Pennsylvania are being enriched with new neighbors of other faiths: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others. People of good will need to learn from each other and become friends as well. There is never an excuse for ignorance, violence or hatred.

We extend our love and support to the Muslim community in New Zealand, and here at home, for the evil they have experienced. United in solidarity, we can and we must put aside any differences we have and stand together as one.