USCCB leaders say armed attacks near Jerusalem holy sites ‘a desecration’

(CNS) The president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference and two committee chairmen condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the fatal shooting of two Israeli police officers July 14 in Jerusalem’s Old City near some of the world’s holiest sites.

“It is a particular desecration to carry out armed attacks in and around sites holy to Muslims and Jews in a city that is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims,” they said in a statement.

It was issued by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who is chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace; and Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, of Springfield, Massachusetts, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

“We mourn for the lives lost and deplore the heightened tensions that such an attack can spawn,” they said, adding they were encouraged that both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack. [More]