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Religious leaders react to synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh

Local religious leaders spoke out Saturday after hearing about the news in Pittsburgh, where 11 people are dead and several others injured from a shooting at a synagogue.

Catholic Priest Monsignor Michael Kuse said he was shocked.

He said it happened at a place where people need to feel safe so they can deepen their faith.

Kuse is celebrating mass at Blessed Sacrament in Quincy this weekend and hopes everyone comes together and listens to this message.

“It’s a lack of respect and I do think that whoever or wherever it is coming from, we are instilling a fear in everyone,” Kuse said. “When we are in fear of our neighbors, family, co-workers, that is not healthy. It is not healthy for our country, it’s not healthy for neighborhoods and I just hope that somewhere, people can settle down and say, do I really love people.”

Kuse said racism, homelessness, and other factors are in Quincy and people should be aware of it.

Rev. Tony Metz with Luther Memorial Church in Quincy said minority groups are under attack and they are subject to this hatefulness that has to change.

Both hope people pray for the victims of the tragedy.

Connie Ryan, executive director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, made the following statement regarding the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

“For the second time in a month I am releasing a statement regarding hate and anti-semitism, this one at the farthest end of the spectrum of extremism, hate, and violence,” stated Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. “A man filled with hate and rage walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the sole purpose of killing Jews; innocent people peacefully worshiping. People practicing their faith in a country that demands the ability of all people to choose their own beliefs; people who were not safe in their own sanctuary.”

“Every person in this country should be angry and in mourning that this level of hatred is not only present but is growing in our country. The political rhetoric that is fueling extremism and hate is dangerous and has real consequences.”

“Interfaith Alliance of Iowa calls upon all elected officials, including President Donald Trump and Rep. Steve King, all faith leaders, and every citizen to condemn this horrific action and to stand in solidarity with neighbors and friends who are Jewish to protect them against any further violence or hate.”

To read more about the shooting and the investigation in Pennsylvania, CLICK HERE.

Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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