Twice over the weekend, leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued statements offering condolences to the victims and families of mass shootings, one in Texas and another in Ohio.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, and USCCB President, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement in response to the tragic shooting August 3, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio.
“We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those murdered in Dayton last night. The lives lost this weekend confront us with a terrible truth. We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception. They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face. God’s mercy and wisdom compel us to move toward preventative action. We encourage all Catholics to increased prayer and sacrifice for healing and the end of these shootings. We encourage Catholics to pray and raise their voices for needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well. We call on all relevant committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to outline a reinvigorated policy agenda and pastoral campaign to address ways we can help fight this social disease that has infected our nation. The Conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence. We also call upon the President and Congress to set aside political interests and find ways to better protect innocent life.”
The two USCCB leaders issued the following statement less than a day earlier, offering sympathy to those impacted by the mass slaying in Texas.
“This Saturday, less than a week after the horrific instances of gun violence in California, yet another terrible, senseless and inhumane shooting took place, this time at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas.
Something remains fundamentally evil in our society when locations, where people congregate to engage in the everyday activities of life, can, without warning, become scenes of violence and contempt for human life. The plague that gun violence has become continues unchecked and spreads across our country.
Things must change. Once again, we call for effective legislation that addresses why these unimaginable and repeated occurrences of murderous gun violence continue to take place in our communities. As people of faith, we continue to pray for all the victims, and for healing in all these stricken communities. But action is also needed to end these abhorrent acts.”