Fort Worth, Texas, Dec 31, 2019 / 12:49 pm (CNA).- Catholic leaders in Texas offered prayers following a deadly shooting at a Christian church on Sunday morning.
“On behalf of the Catholic Community of the Diocese of Dallas, we extend heartfelt prayers for those affected by the shootings at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX,” said Bishop Edward Burns on Twitter.
“As people of faith, we know that sin, evil, suffering, and death will not have the last word,” he added.
Shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday, a gunman opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a few miles west of Fort Worth.
According to police, the gunman killed two people before members of the congregation shot and killed him.
Texas governor Greg Abbott credited the quick action of the congregants in ending the attack, which lasted just a few seconds.
In a statement following the shooting, Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth called for prayers.
“I ask all priests, deacons, religious women and men, seminarians, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Fort Worth to please pray with me for those who were affected by the hateful act of violence in the sanctuary of a community of brother and sister Christians at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement.”
Olson also pointed to efforts within the Diocese of Fort Worth to increase security measures in recent months. These efforts include training ushers, greeters and other parish team members to identify suspicious behavior, medical equipment and training requirements for all churches, and armed volunteers selected by church pastors.
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio also responded to the shooting.
“My heart goes out to the victims killed and wounded in the shooting this morning at Westway Church of Christ near Fort Worth,” he said in a statement. “My prayers are with all who were traumatized by this senseless tragedy.”
“That this act of violence occurred in a house of worship unfortunately no longer shocks our senses,” the archbishop continued. “At this time of bitter division and polarization, we must unite in common purpose and commitment to save our society. We can do no less.”
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