Catholic World News

US bishops back gun control, health-care access in response to Newtown shootings

December 21, 2012

In a public statement responding to the Newtown massacre, the chairmen of three committees of the US bishops’ conference have joined in a call for tighter restrictions on legal gun ownership, broader access to health-care services, and voluntary restraints on violence in films and video games.

The US bishops’ statement was signed by Bishops Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California; John Wester of Salt Lake City; and Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne, Indiana. They are, respectively, the chairman of the US bishops’ committees on domestic justice, communications, and family life.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: MAG - Dec. 25, 2012 3:52 PM ET USA

    Again, the USCCB is speaking on a matter in which they have no competence. Commentary on this issue should be left to lay faithful who have expertise in firearms, common law and the like. I therefore humbly offer my services.

  • Posted by: impossible - Dec. 24, 2012 4:13 PM ET USA

    We need to disband the USCCB and form a Bishops’group that will: (1) faithfully catechize laity, including an honest exposition of Catholic social justice teachings; (2) not take stands on matters of prudential judgement about which faithful Catholics may legitimately disagree; (3) end the era of equivocal misleading Bernardin-style voters’ guides. Was it Pogo who prophetically proclaimed, “We have met the enemy, and they is us?” The USCCB is certainly not the friend of the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Dec. 23, 2012 6:59 AM ET USA

    Are tighter restrictions on legal gun ownership the answer? Consider the protection on innocent life from the attacks of the devil. If we followed the same logic as gun control then the best way to protect innocent life from the devil would be to limit the number of people who know and believe in Jesus. Wow!!! Seems to me that all people should be properly armed whether to fight the devil or his human delegates. The people need to decide not the secular government.

  • Posted by: unum - Dec. 22, 2012 8:28 AM ET USA

    It is time for the USCCB to set up a separate political action organization before all Church activity is subject to federal and state taxes. Since the bishops are talking more about politics than spirituality, the IRS can't help noticing, and our donations will have to increase substantially to cover the USCCB tax bill, especially at President Obama's tax rates. By the way, whatever happened to the Year of Faith and other Church/USCCB spiritual priorities? Just asking.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Dec. 21, 2012 6:42 PM ET USA

    They're at it again, aren't they? I thought they'd have had enough of socialistic health care reform. Don't they know what the code words "better health care access to all" mean in this society, where abortion, birth control and abortifacient drugs are most assuredly considered health care? And why must they take the side of government against its citizens in disarming citizens? Don't they know why the 2nd Amendment was written into the Constitution? It wasn't so that pilgrims could hunt turkey!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 21, 2012 6:12 PM ET USA

    As Fr. Chaminade said, "the essential is the interior." Without internal "heart-change," no nation can be safe. When bishops make statements on gun ownership and availability, they sound like politicians. Do we need more politicians in this situation, or forthright statements about the need for internal conversion on the part of everyone involved in the culture of death?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 21, 2012 5:46 PM ET USA

    As both a Catholic and a firm believer in our rights as guaranteed under the Second Amendment, I'm trying to figure out if the bishops even have the right to get involved in this discussion, especially as it pertains to legislating guns and our access to them. After all, if the bishops had been doing a better job of leading and teaching over the last 40-50 years, we wouldn't have the culture of death we have in the world today, so maybe they should stay out of discussions they don't belong in.

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Dec. 21, 2012 5:42 PM ET USA

    The Bishops should not be nmaking these comments. It is not their place. Effort shojld be made to be part of the solution by insisting on restoring morality,parents taking responsebilility, families helping their famolly members, and making our public places safer by allowig peple to caah