U.S. bishops: Mass shootings are an ‘epidemic against life’

Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2019 / 02:46 pm (CNA).- U.S. bishops are calling for prayer and action in the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend.

“We encourage all Catholics to increased prayer and sacrifice for healing and the end of these shootings,” the bishops wrote in an Aug. 4 statement. “We encourage Catholics to pray and raise their voices for needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well.”

“God’s mercy and wisdom compel us to move toward preventative action.”

On Saturday Aug. 3, a 21-year-old man opened fire at a shopping complex in El Paso, TX. He killed at least 20 people and injured more than two dozen others before he was taken into police custody.

The shooter reportedly published a four-page document online in the hours before the attack, detailing his hatred toward immigrants and Hispanics. He also reportedly described the weapons he would use in the shooting.

Less than 24 hours later, a 24-year-old man fired an assault rifle in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people and injuring more than two dozen others. Within one minute, Dayton police arrived and killed the shooter.

“The lives lost this weekend confront us with a terrible truth,” bishops wrote. “We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception.”

“They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face.”

The mass shootings came one week after a 19-year-old man shot and killed three people at a garlic festival in California. Two more people died in another shooting July 30 in Mississippi.

“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 bishops wrote in an Aug. 3 statement.

The bishops repeated their call for President Donald Trump and Congress to pass responsible gun legislation.

“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,” the bishops wrote.

“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.”

“Things must change.”

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  1. Pope Emeritus Benedict said that any legislation is useless we disarm our hearts. The bishops should focus on helping change people’s hearts instead of pushing legislation which has been proven worldwide to have failed in stopping gun violence.

  2. “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.”

    And I can guess what sort of action will be advocated…
    It’s always easier to promote additional laws & restrictions than to examine what’s wrong with a culture that produces so many disturbed & disconnected men.

  3. I have no problem with some sort of legislation aimed at reducing this type of violence. However, I find it odd that the Bishops seem to have the motivation to consistently push for certain political ends, but a wishy washy inconsistent approach towards ending abortion. Abortion, by far exceeds every other cause of death; worldwide, the numbers are unreal, approaching an estimated 56 million each year . Yet the bishops seem to waffle and in many cases actually undermine prolife efforts instead of getting serious about ending this horrible scourge. How anyone imagines that a country which protects and celebrates the “right” to kill a child will at the same time be a “safe” and “peaceful” place, is beyond me.

    • AH,

      You have it exactly right. The widespread message is “If your baby is inconvenient, go ahead and kill it.” If people hear that over and over about the smallest and most innocent life, can you doubt that they are going to get the message that human life is unimportant and if they want to kill someone, why not?

  4. Saint Paul teaches that, for evil men many laws are required but that for good men, only a few. Our present culture, in which thousands of man-made laws and continued lawmaking are seen as remedies for evil behavior, is morally sick, spiritually bereft and doomed to more of the same. And so it will be until mankind returns to the one path of salvation, already provided to us by our Creator with few laws and a Gentle Shepherd to keep us on the narrow path through the Valley of Death, from which we have strayed so far.

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