Chaplain Dan Leger, a CPSP Clinical Chaplain at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Palliative and Supportive Institute, was among the victims of the shooting yesterday at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. He was hit in the abdomen, has undergone surgery and remains in critical but hopeful condition.
Two other CPSP Clinical Chaplains were present in the synagogue at the time of the assault, but were unhurt. They are Rabbi Doris Dyen and Rabbi Jonathan Perlman. The names of the dead are to be released this morning.
Our sympathy and solidarity goes out for the families of the dead, the wounded, and all the members of that community.
These rabbis are colleagues of Charlie Starr, Director of Chaplains at UPMC Shadyside.
We must also be deeply concerned with what this represents for life in this country. The escalating rage against those among us who are different—Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, and others—should be deeply troubling to us all. The increasing abuse of the stranger in our midst is a heinous crime inveighed against by all our religious traditions.
In the face of this decompensation in American life, we must resist all calls for increasing ownership of guns, particularly those that make killing so efficient.
We must also do what we can to fill the void in our political leadership, leadership which is either paralyzed and unable to act, or worse, fanning the flames of hostility toward the stranger among us.
Raymond J. Lawrence
General Secretary, CPSP