Dear University Community Members -
We find ourselves yet again offering our deepest condolences as we grieve together with our Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide. Last night we learned that extremists opened fire in two New Zealand mosques as worshipers gathered for Friday prayers. We mourn the inconceivable loss of 49 lives, and we share the anguish felt by those whose lives are forever altered by this reprehensible act of hate. This attack upon Muslims at prayer is a horrific violation of the human right to religious freedom and on the sacred dignity of all human beings, as taught by the Second Vatican Council.
We denounce the anti-Muslim prejudice and the disease of white supremacy that are endemic, and we must act now to stem their global spread. We are members of a Jesuit, Catholic university committed to the pursuit of inclusion of and kinship with communities both large and small. We deeply value all that we share with Muslims, and we also commit ourselves to interfaith collaboration with and support for our Muslim students, staff, and faculty. As such, we enact our values daily, through the ways in which we treat one another and through the ways in which we stand with our neighbors. We believe the University serves not only itself and its students but is called to be a force for justice and peace in society, above all, in defense of the poor and marginalized.
Please join me in offering these condolences.
Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J.