NZ Cardinal expresses sympathy to Jewish community
Cardinal Thomas Williams of Wellington has written to the city's Jewish community expressing his deep sadness at the recent desecration of graves in the Jewish section two local cemeteries.
Early on Friday morning, headstones in the Jewish section of the Makara Cemetery outside Wellington were pushed off their graves and a prayer house burnt down.
The Makara Cemetery damage comes just three weeks after about 16 Jewish graves were damaged in Wellington's historic Bolton Street cemetery, leading to fears Jewish graves in a third Wellington cemetery, Karori, could be next.
The Cardinal described the vandalism as shameful and atrocious.
On behalf of the Catholic people of the Wellington Archdiocese, he expressed profound sympathy to those who have family members buried in the two cemeteries as well as to the Jewish community as a whole.
Many Catholic churches around the country offered prayers at weekend Masses for those Jewish families who had been affected by the desecration of the graves and the burning of the prayer chapel.
Cardinal expresses sympathy to Jewish community (Catholic Communications NZ)
Jewish graves vandal hunt focuses on early-morning drivers (NZ Herald 10/8/04)
New Zealand Jewish Graves Attacked Again (BBC/mathaba.net 9/8/04)
NZ reeling after vandals smash Jewish cemetery (The Age 7/8/04)
Catholic Church in New Zealand
Archdiocese of Wellington | Cardinal Thomas Williams
10 Aug 2004