The Catholic News Service on Monday inadvertently tweeted a picture of the frieze from the Arch of Titus commemorating Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem in first century in its Hanukkah greeting, before taking down the post and apologizing.
The US-based news agency, which reports mainly on the Roman Catholic Church, posted a picture that depicts spoils from the Second Temple being carried off after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE that commenced the exile of the Jewish people.
Included is a menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum whose use is commemorated during the Hannukah holiday.
Most scholars believe the figures depicted parading the ancient menorah into Rome are Roman soldiers, though there is a widespread misconception that they are Jewish slaves being led into exile.
The destruction of the biblical Temples is of Jewish day mourning, observed on Tisha B’Av along with other disasters in Jewish history.
The news agency quickly removed the message and issued an apology for posting the “offensive” photo, saying the person who posted the photo did not understand what the Arch of Titus represented.
Earlier today, wishing people a happy Hanukkah, we posted a photo that offended many of our followers. The tweet has been removed and we apologize for any offense caused.
— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) December 3, 2018
CNS said they were “sloppy” in their tweeting” and people “were right to be offended” by the image.
Social media users were quick to point out the faux pas, and called out CNS for “being clueless.”
“Celebrating the re-dedication of the Temple by showing artwork commemorating destruction of said Temple is awkward,” one Twitter user wrote.
omg i RT'd it like 2 minutes before they deleted. For Flavian posterity. (appreciate the congrats) pic.twitter.com/27yMXmsi61
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 3, 2018