Over the weekend, I was shocked and disgusted to hear that, once more, a number of Jewish graves were attacked and damaged within the City Cemetery. I extend my heartfelt support to all the families and the wider Belfast Jewish community who have been affected and deeply hurt by this incident.
These senseless acts of vandalism violate the sanctuary of the cemetery and they display a total lack of respect for the dead and the families of the deceased who are left distressed by these incidents.
The targeting of these Jewish graves is particularly distressing for the wider Jewish community in Belfast. Such anti-semitic and discriminatory actions, motivated by prejudice, have no place in a modern tolerant welcoming society.
As a Diocese, we stand firmly alongside our sisters and brothers in the Belfast Jewish Community as we express our revulsion in the face of this destruction and in calling for greater respect for all within society.
I appeal to all who enter the City Cemetery, particularly young people, to recognise and respect the sanctity of this graveyard where loved ones are buried.
Let us afford to these resting places of family relatives and friends the dignity and respect that is theirs by right.