Pray, offer support for safe communities

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The Catholic Church consistently calls for the protection of all life. Recent mass shootings are a most pressing life issue on which all in society must act — elected leaders and citizens alike. Each of us also needs to search our souls for ways we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action.

Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich stated post-Uvalde, “The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them.” Cardinal Cupich implored people, especially all Catholics, not just to lament, but to act. “We must soak in the grief that comes with the knowledge these children of God were cut down, but then we must steel ourselves to act in the face of what seems like insurmountable despair. Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more, our children or these instruments of death?”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has consistently called for gun control.  In a presentation titled “Responses to the Plague of Gun Violence” delivered Nov. 11, 2019, the bishops issued support for a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks, a federal gun trafficking bill, regulations on sales of handguns, improved mental health interventions, safety measures and “an honest assessment of violent images and experiences in our society.”

As Catholics, we must now do more in addition to offering prayers and support. It is hypocritical to pray for a problem we are unwilling to help resolve. We must work together and take action to ensure the safety of our children, our schools, our churches and our communities. Catholics and all people of goodwill are urged to:

• Contact senators and representatives to support policy and legislative measures as outlined by the USCCB.

• Raise awareness of this right to life issue of gun violence in your respective parishes by rallying with signs and materials this month. Offer to hold discussion groups to come to understand various views.

• Pray often for a solution and for the family of the victims and the shooters.

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• Keep this issue in the forefront; do not let it slip into the background.

April Rouner, on behalf of Sisters In Christ Group,
Iowa City


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