|Fr. Sean Mc Manus|
"I will not be deterred by cyberbullies," says Catholic priest
"Because of my over-forty years of work for justice and peace in , I have received many threats and attempts to silence me. However, I was particularly struck by emails from two brothers — one with a physical address in and the other in Israel— each spewing appalling hatred and verbal violence, and accusing me of anti-Semitism, which I have opposed all my entire life. The brother in tells me to commit an unspeakable act of sexual violence against a child. He calls me a 'piece of s- -t, and signs off with the "F-word" in all capitals. He then adds a p.s.: 'I am an American citizen, are you? If not what the f--k are you doing in my country trying to stir up anti-Semitic trouble?
"I did not, of course, respond to him.
"However, I did respond to the brother in who outrageously and falsely charged me with anti-Semitism: 'Each time the horrible charge of "anti-Semitism" is hurled unfairly and maliciously— together with the attempt to intimidate and to silence — it trivializes the all too real scourge of historic and on-going anti-Semitism, which I have opposed all my life, and which my own Church, the Catholic Church, sadly and shamefully in the past had a big hand in spreading throughout the world.
"But surely you must see that using the charge of anti-Semitism against someone like me — using it to insult, threaten and silence — does a mockery of the Shoah and commits an obscenity against the sacred memory of those exterminated in the Holocaust, using them as a political-ideological football.
"I have a special love, indeed reverence, for the Jewish people— doubly enhanced by the fact that the people I most admire in are Jewish-Americans. And three-fold enhanced by the fact that the leading supporters of my Mac Bride Principles campaign— in and outside of Congress— were Jewish-Americans. A thousand blessings on them all.
"If you were Catholic, I would say you need to go to Confession. If you are Jewish, I say you need to rend your garments, or better, rend your heart,[Joel 2:13] for sending me such a malign and shameful letter. May God forgive you, as I do.'"
He responded by saying, 'You didn't answer anything I wrote. You just retort with the usual excuse of anti-Semites everywhere: that people who call them anti-Semites are trivializing the term.' How can one reason with a person with that mentality— who acts as judge, jury and executioner?"
"Cyberbullying is not just limited to children but also applies to adults as well. Sometimes the cyberbullying of adults is called cyberstalking. Whatever name is used, it is a cowardly, illegal, criminal, and deplorable. I intend to report this to the proper authorities. I have never given in to bullies, and at 72 years of age, I am not about to change a habit of a lifetime, especially when all I am doing is urging American companies to sign the Holy Land Principles. How could any one rationally and fairly oppose that?"