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Arizona shootings: murdered judge attended daily Mass

Catholic World News - January 11, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement decrying the January 8 shooting in Arizona that left six dead, including US District Court Judge John Roll, and at least a dozen wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“We commend to God those who have died and we pray for the families who lost loved ones and for those who are suffering from their wounds,” said Archbishop Dolan. “We also pray for the person who committed these acts and those who are responsible for his care.”

Judge Roll was a 4th-degree Knight of Columbus who attended daily Mass, according to the spokesman for the Diocese of Tucson. Another victim, Christina Green, was born on September 11, 2001, and made her first Holy Communion last spring.

“It is incomprehensible that such a horrible tragedy could happen in the community that we love so much,” said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, who was in the Holy Land when the shooting occurred. “I am shocked and devastated as I see the horrible pictures on the news and hear the reports of those who have been killed and injured.”

“I could not sleep,” Bishop Kicanas added. “I just wanted to return home as soon as possible.”

“While we as bishops are also concerned about the wider implications of the Tucson incident, we caution against drawing any hasty conclusions about the motives of the assailant until we know more from law enforcement authorities,” Archbishop Dolan noted. “Violence of any kind must be condemned. When the target of a violent act is a public official, it shakes the confidence of the nation in its ability to protect its leaders and those who want to participate in the democratic process. As bishops we call once more for respect for the life and dignity of every person as we work together for the common good, seeking to address the various social and political issues that face us as a nation.”

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