Statement by Bishop John M. D'Arcy
Terrible reports of verbal and physical attacks, as well as attacks on property, against Arab Americans and members of the Islamic religion are arising throughout the country.
As Americans and Catholics we must do everything in our power to oppose such mindless acts of prejudice.
This is our responsibility as American citizens. I am old enough to remember what was done to Japanese-Americans in World War II. They were as American as any of us, and later many were decorated for heroism in the war in Europe, yet they were rushed off to camps against their will. Their rights were grossly violated.
Here in Fort Wayne, some German inscriptions in our beautiful, old Catholic churches were covered over, erasing part of our Catholic culture.
E Pluribus Unum. The inscription on our coins – From the Many: One. That is America. I am a child of immigrants who knew prejudice, so are we all. Let us show our American heritage by opposing this in our conversations and in our actions.
As Catholics we are a universal church. Many Arab-Americans are our brothers and sisters in the faith. Towards these and towards all of the members of the Islamic faith, we should reach out at this time with understanding and acceptance, respect, and indeed love.
Let us oppose such intolerance and prejudice and terrible misjudgment every chance we get.