On behalf of the Diocese of Portland, I wish to offer our support to the Islamic Society of Portland, Imam El Harith Mohamed, and all those affected by the recent threat of violence against this religious community. A threat against one faith is a threat against all who value religious freedom, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is foundational to who we are as Americans.
As Catholics, our faith in Jesus Christ and the power of his message compels us to stand up in support of that freedom, especially when the threat to its existence also challenges human dignity and the rights supporting and celebrating that dignity.
As Pope Francis has said, “Religious freedom is not only that of private thought or worship. It is the liberty to live, both privately and publicly according to the ethical principles resulting from found truth.”
We will always stand as a voice against any attempts to rob humanity of rights guaranteed to all, including and especially the freedom of religion.