TORONTO (Nov. 4)
The head of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination has expressed his shame at the spectacle of “Christians” perpetrating “a pogrom” in the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps in west Beirut.
In a sermon delivered in Acton, Ontario, the Rev. Clarke MacDonald, recently elected Moderator of the United Church of Canada, declared: “The eloquent, almost total silence on the part of the Christian community in Canada regarding events in the Middle East, especially the massacres which took place at Shatila and Sabra, speaks volumes. As one of the leaders in that community I admit complicity in this silence, although I would reject the nation that it is a conspiracy of silence.”
Christians, MacDonald stated, “must share deeply the sense of shock that has shaken the Jewish community. While we may protest against the media use of the adjective ‘Christian’ to define the Phalangists, yet we cannot deny that likely 90 percent or more of these people have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, That such persons should be the perpetrators of a pogrom against helpless women, women with children, and old people … is incomprehensible to anyone who tries to have that mind which is in Christ,”
MacDonald said the tragedy raises a question. “How can we emphasize our common humanity?” By raising this question, “among many others to which I would like-to-see us address ourselves … we may make some contribution to ‘humanizing our distant tomorrows’ and prevent the recurrence of a holocaust anywhere on the planet Earth.”