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Statement on Gun Violence in Schools and Communities

February 2018
We are seven weeks into 2018, and so far there have been 18 school shootings, including the February 14 shooting in Broward County, Florida, which cost 17 lives. At the same time, across our communities gun violence ends even more young lives and tears families apart. We know some of our teens carry lists of the names of the friends they’ve lost to gun violence.

At Catholic Charities, we are witnesses to the impact of gun violence, due to the heroic work of our team members who accompany the grieving and work to change systems within our schools and communities to restore, to heal, and to prevent continued loss of life.
We join the Catholic Conference of Bishops in a call for prayer and healing in the wake of the latest school shooting (statement below).
We also call upon our civic leaders across all levels to take action to strengthen laws prohibiting semi-automatic weapons. These weapons have no place in our communities.

We issue this statement with reverence for the dignity and life of every person and the call to family, community, and participation, “seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable,” consistent with Catholic Social Teaching.
Amen.

STATEMENT FOR PRAYER AND HEALING FROM US CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
WASHINGTON—Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement is as follows:

“We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, ‘behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ (Mt. 28:20).”