Where there is hatred, we bring love
In recent days, our City of Toronto has seen an explosion of hate directed at people of Jewish faith. Some demonstrations in our city have openly celebrated the butchery, beheadings, rapes, and kidnappings of Israeli civilians by Hamas. Some demonstrators have targeted a Jewish-owned restaurant and a Jewish community centre. We have also heard reports that a Jewish man was beaten and even people knocking on doors with a mezuzah to ask if Jews live there. We have been horrified to see all of this happening in our city in recent days.
As Catholic lawyers, we know that the Jewish people are the chosen people of God. They are, as Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis teach us, our big brothers and sisters.
Pope Francis recently emphasized: “a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots. It would be a contradiction of faith and life. Rather, we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community.”
We therefore denounce the hate directed at our Jewish brothers and sisters. We commit ourselves to banning anti-Semitism from our community, and we urge all Christians, and people of all faiths, to make the same commitment.
Where there is hatred, let us bring love. We pledge our love, our support, and our prayers to our Jewish brothers and sisters in Toronto and the world over. We will stand with you in the fight against hatred. We will pray with you for the peace of Jerusalem: “peace be within your walls, and security within your towers”.
We pray also for all of the victims of the attacks in Israel, and especially for the swift return of the over 200 hostages who were torn from their families.
As lawyers, we affirm Israel’s right to defend itself from attack, the same right international law accords to every state. Yet we are mindful of civilians in Gaza who have suffered death, injury, or displacement because of this conflict. We pray for them.
All Abrahamic faiths share a belief in one God, a God who desires peace not war, love, not hate. We join together with people of all faiths to stand up against violence, hate and loss of human life, wherever it is found. We join together to pray for peace.
 Greeting of His Holiness Pope Francis to a Delegation of the World Congress of Mountain Jews, 5 November 2018 https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2018/november/documents/papa-francesco_20181105_mountain-jews-caucaso.html
The Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto is a Catholic based interfaith association of lawyers, judges, and law students.