In the chaos of the moment, people poured from the movie theater into the darkness of the night—the darkness of confusion, of ambiguity, of despair. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness. They do not stand alone. As Catholic bishops, we “weep with those who weep.”
But in Aurora, which means “the dawn,” the sun rose this morning. In a city whose name evokes the light, people of hope know that the darkness may be overcome.
For those who were killed, our hope is the tender mercy of our God. “Neither death nor life,” reflected St. Paul, “can separate us from the love of God.” We commend their souls, and their families and friends, to God’s enduring love.
For those who were wounded—physically, emotionally and spiritually, our hope is in their recovery and renewal. To them we offer our prayers, our ears to listen, and our hearts to love. The road to recovery may be long, but in hope we are granted the gift of new life.
We hope also for the perpetrator of this terrible crime, and we pray for his conversion. Evil ruled his heart last night. Only Jesus Christ can overcome the darkness of such evil.
We hope that all of us may find the peace which surpasses understanding.
Read the full statement here.
UPDATE: Archbishop Aquila will celebrate Mass this evening for all those impacted by the shooting at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Aurora. Details here.