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Do not react to violence with hatred and discrimination, says USCCB president

December 16, 2015

Referring to the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting and the San Bernardino shooting, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement in which he offered prayers for the suffering and called upon the faithful to be “heralds of hope and prophetic voices against senseless violence, a violence which can never be justified by invoking the name of God.”

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“Watching innocent lives taken and wondering whether the violence will reach our own families rightly stirs our deepest protective emotions,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville said in his December 14 statement. “We must resist the hatred and suspicion that leads to policies of discrimination. Instead, we must channel our emotions of concern and protection, born in love, into a vibrant witness to the dignity of every person. We should employ immigration laws that are humane and keep us safe, but should never target specific classes of persons based on religion.”

He added:

Confident in what Jesus asks of us, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops remains steadfast in our commitment to refugees, who are often escaping severe persecution. We will continue to support strengthening social services for persons with mental illness, but we must remember that only a small number of those suffering with these challenges pose a risk to themselves or others. We encourage responsible firearms regulation. And we will advocate on behalf of people facing religious discrimination, including our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Let us confront the extremist threat with courage and compassion, recognizing that Christianity, Islam, Judaism and many other religions are united in opposition to violence carried out in their name.

 


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  • Posted by: skall391825 - Dec. 17, 2015 12:52 AM ET USA

    That makes me sad. In their tone deaf attempt to appear relevant, they are just reinforcing the widespread impression that they are not. Gun control and strengthening social services for persons with mental illness is the solution? "And we will advocate on behalf of people facing religious discrimination, including our Muslim brothers and sisters." Good for you, Bishops, but you will do so without my money.

  • Posted by: feedback - Dec. 16, 2015 9:51 AM ET USA

    This statement could be a classic example of the proverbial "Barking at the wrong trees" if it were not for its heavily political agenda. Politicians are known to never let a crisis situation go to waste, but Catholic Bishops should always embrace the truth and stay clear of political propaganda.