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Words of Comfort Only

The Rt. Rev. Dorsey W.M. McConnell, Bishop of Pittsburgh, pleads for restraint as the city faces a fraught day of grief and possible conflict:

Today will be a difficult day for Pittsburgh. The President will be visiting. He says his purpose is to express his condolences and support for the families of those who died in the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue. I believe there is also a rally scheduled for later this afternoon to protest the President’s visit. There will be many voices lifted up both for and against these events.

In the middle of it all, the Jewish rituals of mourning will continue: washing eleven bodies, burying the dead, sitting shiva.

The Mayor has said he will focus on the care of those who lost loved ones in the assault. I ask us all to follow the Mayor’s lead. Do not be caught up in the maelstrom of this day, or in bitter exchanges on social media. Let us be quiet. Wherever we are, let us mourn with the living and bless the dead. Let the only words be words of comfort, words of prayer. There will be time for other words. This is not the time.

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