Jesuit Network Responds to the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

BY ISN STAFF | January 7, 2021

The rioting, violence, and attack on the peaceful transfer of power that is essential to our democracy that took place on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 are unacceptable and run counter to the values we aspire to as a country—equality and the inherent dignity of all people upheld through structures rooted in peace and dialogue.

Jesuit network, attack on U.S. Capitol

These events are additionally a testament to the ongoing reality of a culture of white supremacy in the U.S. Attackers were permitted to enter the Capitol building with little resistance from police and security personnel, and one must not look far to see the contrast between this and the way that people of color are treated in our nation every day. Read ISN’s full statement here.

Below, find statements from leaders in the Jesuit network. [Note, this post is not comprehensive and will be updated. Contact Kelly Swan, ISN communications director, via email to share additional statements for addition to this listing.]

Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States: Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., President [full statement]

“The peaceful transfer of power is a sacred American value and one we must work together to protect. Inflammatory rhetoric and persistent attacks on the legitimacy of the election are not only irresponsible, they undermine the foundations of our democracy and open the door to violence. As we use this difficult moment to recommit to our work of reconciliation and justice.”

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities [full statement]

“We, the presidents of the Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, condemn in the strongest terms the assault on our democratic processes by the mob that attempted to interfere with yesterday’s Electoral College certification in our nation’s capital. We join with those citizens and civic organizations across the country that call for an end to the rhetoric and violence that have surrounded this otherwise peaceful election.”

Creighton University: Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J., Ph.D, President [via Twitter]

“Civil discourse and honest debate are fundamental aspects of our democracy, especially so of the work that occurs in higher education, and very particularly in and of the mission of Jesuit higher learning. Today’s violence is simply unacceptable. I pray for all who were harmed, and for healing in our country, and I join many political, religious, and educational leaders in condemning these actions.”

Fordham University: Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President [full statement]

“As members of a Jesuit, Catholic University community, we repudiate the forces of unreason which have stormed the Capitol. We oppose mob rule, and those who propose to subvert the electoral process. I know you join me in praying for our nation, and that our elected officials find the wisdom to condemn the violence in the nation’s capital.”

Georgetown University: John J. DeGioia, President [via Twitter]

“These acts are reprehensible and have no place in our country. I strongly condemn these criminal attempts to undermine our republic. For more than two centuries, our America project has been defined by our commitment to the ideals of democracy. Across our nation, there is an extraordinary depth of commitment to these ideals that, especially today, can be a source of consolation and solidarity as we pursue important and necessary work to build a more just and equitable future.”

Gonzaga University: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President [full statement]

“We—the individual members of this nation and its communities—we choose whether to commit ourselves to the common good, whether to support or to suppress it. Today was a live demonstration of what happens when individuals choose to place the desires of individuals above those of the common good – at the same time placing individual lives, as well as the Rule of Law, in jeopardy. It is my fervent hope that those represented to serve us – all of us – in the government of this democracy, do not fail to learn from the lessons of this moment.”

Holy Cross: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President [full statement]

“I am deeply saddened and appalled by the unrest and violence unfolding in the U.S. Capitol today. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of our political system. Those who attempt to subvert the work of our elected officials with force and violence, and anyone who incites such violence, are causing real damage to our country, our democracy and the ideals to which we aspire as a nation.”

Loyola Marymount University: Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., President [via Twitter]

“We pray for national unity, an end to violence, & reaffirm our common humanity. As educators in the Jesuit & Marymount traditions, we reconcile our differences with courage & mutual respect. I have faith in our shared democratic values and believe peace & justice will prevail.”

Santa Clara University: Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., President [via Twitter]

“What we saw today in Washington is not who we are as Americans. But we know who we are as members of the Santa Clara community. We educate young people who live not for themselves but for other people and for a cause, for something greater than themselves. As a university we educate citizens of the world who will serve the common good and who embrace their civic responsibility to be engaged members of the body politic…you will ensure that our democracy has better days than what we saw today.”

Seattle University: Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J., President [full statement]

“All elected leaders have a responsibility to denounce the rioters and violence and call for a stop to the efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the presidential election and counting of the electoral votes. As President-elect Biden said earlier today, this is an unprecedented assault on our democracy that shocks and saddens us all. It is time to come together in unity and support for the incoming administration.”

Xavier University: Rev. Michael Graham, S.J., President [via Twitter]

“We at Xavier University stand united for our nation’s democracy and against today’s unacceptable assault on our elected officials and democratic institutions. Our role as a Jesuit, Catholic university calls us to engage with each other in open and honest dialogue and to always seek wisdom and integrity.”

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “Violence is the weapon of the weak, non-violence that of the strong”.


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