Catholic bishops are not only asking for prayers for victims of this weekend’s mass shootings, they are also calling for action to end the violence. At least 31 people were killed and dozens were injured in the incidents that took place Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 in El Paso and Dayton.
While asking for prayers, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, representing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for the President and Congress to produce effective legislation to protect innocent life affected by gun violence. Cardinal DiNardo also called on committees of the USCCB to outline a reinvigorated policy agenda to address ways to fight gun violence.
“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,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “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.”
While expressing his heartbreak over the back-to-back mass shootings, Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, Bishop of Beaumont, also called for action.
“I keep those affected by both shootings in my prayers. We must find a way to stop this violence,” Bishop Guillory said.
Bishop Mark Seitz, Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, echoed Bishop Guillory’s sentiments about the mass shootings.
“Let us all brace ourselves for just action that will overcome the forces of division and build a more loving society,” said Bishop Seitz.
Pope Francis also expressed sorrow over these tragic events this past weekend.
“I am spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” Pope Francis said.