WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are reiterating their call for respect for human life in the wake of a shooting rampage in Arizona over the weekend that left six dead.

Suspect Jared Loughner allegedly shot 20 people who were attending a political rally Saturday with U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, which was held outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. John M. Roll, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, was among those who were killed, and Giffords was critically wounded.

"Our prayers and concern are with those most immediately affected by this violence," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We commend to God those who have died and we pray for the families who lost loved ones and for those who are suffering from their wounds. We also pray for the person who committed these acts and those who are responsible for his care."

"While we as bishops are also concerned about the wider implications of the Tucson incident, we caution against drawing any hasty conclusions about the motives of the assailant until we know more from law enforcement authorities," Archbishop Dolan added. "Violence of any kind must be condemned. When the target of a violent act is a public official, it shakes the confidence of the nation in its ability to protect its leaders and those who want to participate in the democratic process. 

"As bishops we call once more for respect for the life and dignity of every person as we work together for the common good, seeking to address the various social and political issues that face us as a nation."