Texas bishop in wake of church shooting: ‘No war, no violence, no guns’

Carrie Matula embraces a woman after a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. Matula said she heard the shooting from the gas station where she works a block away. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, responded to the country’s latest mass shooting, where at least 20 people were killed in a Texas church on Sunday, by saying Americans “must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society.”

“This incomprehensibly tragic event joins an ever-growing list of mass shootings, some of which were also at Churches while people were worshipping and at prayer,” the cardinal said in response to the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., located southeast of San Antonio.

Advertisement

“A Culture of Life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms.”

“A Culture of Life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms,” he continued. “May the Lord, who Himself is Peace, send us His Spirit of charity and nonviolence to nurture His peace among us all.”

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, who heads the Catholic Church in San Antonio, took to Twitter to express his sorrow at news of the shooting—and make known his views on guns.

“We need prayers! The families affected in the shootings need prayers. Let's help with prayers. Our Baptist brethren need us. God have mercy!” he tweeted as news of the shooting broke.

He sent a series of additional tweets, including one that said, “no guns.”

The wife of the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs said the couple’s 14-year-old daughter was among those killed in a mass shooting at the church.

Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said in a text message that she lost her daughter “and many friends” in the Sunday shooting. The text came in response to an interview request sent by The Associated Press to a phone number linked in online records to Frank Pomeroy.

“We ask the Lord for healing of those injured, His loving care of those who have died and the consolation of their families,” Cardinal DiNardo said in his statement, adding that he offers prayers for “the victims, the families, the first responders, our Baptist brothers and sisters, indeed the whole community of Sutherland Springs.”  

“We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy — as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence,” he said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Tim Donovan
2 weeks ago

As a very imperfect gay Catholic who received forgiveness for having sex with men years ago through the Sacrament of Reconciliation from my compassionate pastor, I oppose capital punishment, legal abortion, support stringent gun control laws, laws to protect our fragile environment, as well as reasonable government assistance to the millions of Americans in need. I also oppose war except as a last resort after diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. I believe we must defend human life from fertilization to natural death, as well as protect our environment.

rose-ellen caminer
1 week 6 days ago

Wow; if you are a member of the "he-man -hatred -of- woman club" who commits domestic violence against his wife, and kids, you will be rebranded as "suffering from mental illness" when you kill 26 people, provided you have a good Christian name like Kelly.

John Walton
1 week 6 days ago

Perhaps the bishop should have waited 24 hours before rendering his epistle -- the Air Force failed to provide the FBI and other federal authorities information regarding the conditions under which Devon Kelly was dishonorably discharged -- he would not have been allowed to purchase the weapons with which murdered 26 of our co-religionists.

Advertisement
More: Guns

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“To love the poor means to combat all forms of poverty, spiritual and material."
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 19, 2017
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017