OAKLAND (KDKA) — Pittsburgh is preparing for a series of protests by a well-known hate group.
The Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based group, plans to demonstrate at local colleges and catholic schools on Thursday.
“They don’t like Catholics,” Bishop David Zubik said. “They’re pretty much bigoted and prejudiced against Catholics.”
The bishop is painfully aware that the group plans to protest at Central Catholic High School and Oakland Catholic next Thursday, so the schools have decided to dismiss classes early.
“I don’t think our young people need to be exposed to that kind of hatred,” Zubik said.
More protests are planned at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and at Catholic university Duquesne.
Duquesne will be in the midst of its heritage week, so the university is encouraging its students and employees to embrace diversity and kindness and to reject discrimination and hate.
Bishop Zubik cautions about how the public might respond to the Westboro Baptist group.
“We best not try to counter one opinion in a way that is hateful, bigoted, prejudiced,” he said. “That only, I think, helps to bring about a deterioration of the culture.”
But it’s hard to turn the other cheek to a group that’s protested at hundreds of military funerals with signs that say “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”