Vancouver archbishop calls attack on Israel ‘serious violation’ of moral, international law

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver. | Credit: Archdiocese of Vancouver

In a message to Vancouver’s Jewish community, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller “unequivocally condemned” Saturday’s attack on Israel, calling it an offense against moral and international law.

Commenting from Rome where he is attending the Synod on Synodality, the archbishop said Monday the news about “the Hamas incursion into Israel is devastating.”

The nature of the attack and the taking of women and children as hostages was “a serious violation not only of international law but, even more importantly, of the moral law that is written in the conscience of every human being,” he said.

“Such an attack must be unequivocally condemned, and our voices raised to the LORD that respect for human life, created in his image, will prevail among all people of goodwill. I join my prayers to those of the Jewish community who are mourning the deceased.”

In a reply to the archbishop, Rabbi Dan Moskovitz of Temple Sholom in Vancouver thanked the archbishop for his words and prayer and said he would share them with his colleagues and community. 

“I am faithful enough to know that if we all saw and respected the other as being created in the image of G-d there would be an end to war, famine, and violence; humanity would flourish,” he said.

That day will not come, Moskovitz said, until the necessary work is done “to eradicate evil, hatred, and bigotry” from human behavior.

He closed with prayers for the archbishop and for “peace and understanding among ALL the inhabitants of the Holy Land.”

Moskovitz said the situation in Israel “is as devastating as it is unprecedented,” and “each of us has family, friends, or colleagues who have been hurt, killed, or are missing.”

He invited the Catholic community to attend a Jewish community solidarity gathering planned for Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver.

This article was originally published on The B.C. Catholic on Oct. 9, 2023, and is reprinted here with permission.

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