Avila University President Responds to Tree of Life Synagogue Attack
In light of the many acts of violence that have occurred recently, Avila University strongly affirms that we stand with communities against hatred and the acts that flow from it. Most recently, we decry the attack on the Jewish community when a man, filled with hatred and armed with death, entered the Tree of Life synagogue and killed 11 of its members as they began to worship. This was not just an isolated attack limited to Pittsburgh, but it is to be seen as an attack on all Jewish people in the United States. As a Catholic university inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet we speak up for love and life and reject the politics of fear that has become untethered in our country. We stand with our Jewish friends everywhere, and especially in Kansas City who knows this kind of violence all too well. In the darkness, we are with you to shed light on hatred in all its forms and at all times.
We are proud to be a Catholic university and thus, as a community of faith, we rebuff hatred in all its forms, and we reject the violence that finds roots in it. Whether it is aimed at people of color, people of different faith, people with disabilities, immigrants, or LGBTQIA people, we do not tolerate hatred or disrespect on our campus, and we seek to inspire a world where justice and peace will be the rule. We are a welcoming campus, and we value diversity and its expression, and we work for the worth, dignity and potential of each human being. It is our mission to promote a love that brings unity and reconciliation. We will continue our work in a world in need of healing.
Ronald A. Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA