Statement of Bishop Stephen Berg on Bomb Plot

In light of this week’s bomb plot towards the Temple Emanuel, the Jewish Synagogue in Pueblo, I wish to state publicly that I, and the Catholic Church, condemn all such acts of violence and hate crimes.

News reports from Tuesday, November 5 state:

“A 27-year-old man who allegedly espoused white supremacist ideology online was arrested by the FBI and accused of plotting to bomb a synagogue in Colorado.

Richard Holzer had brought a knife and a mask to a motel room and was examining inert pipe bombs prepared by undercover agents moments before he was arrested late Friday … Holzer is charged with attempting to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs with the attempted use of explosives -- a hate crime. In court documents, officials called him a domestic terrorist and described his alleged anti-Semitic ideology and desires for a racial holy war.”

While saddened upon reception of this news, I am taking this opportunity to recommit our diocese to prayer and support for those who are persecuted for their religious beliefs and to give thanks that no harm was accomplished by this plot. Further, I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Diocese of Pueblo, to express support to the Jewish faithful of our community here in Pueblo.

This senseless plot of violence, against the Jewish people, horrifies our consciences. There must be an end to such hate and evil in our culture.

Let us call on God to help us uphold and build respect for all human life and religious beliefs in the United States and abroad. May we specifically take steps locally to bring greater awareness to both.