Chairman, Domestic Policy Committee
Our hearts all said the same thing: "Not again!" Not another horrendous school shooting. The terrible events of Littleton, Colorado, have claimed the lives of 1 teacher and 14 of our young people, including the two young men who killed them. On behalf of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, I would like to express to the families of the dead and injured and all of those touched by this tragedy our heartfelt sympathy and promise our continuing prayers. We stand with Archbishop Charles Chaput and the church of Denver in their sorrow at this terrible time.
We must resist the temptation to look for easy answers to this tragedy. There are no simple solutions. This violence that haunts our nation reflects the breakdown of family and community life, the absence of spiritual roots, the loss of respect for life, the pervasiveness of violent images from the media, and the easy accessibility of guns and other weapons. We live in a society where violence is too often seen as a solution to our most intractable problems. Violence is not the solution: it is the most clear sign of our failures.
But we can turn away from a culture of violencea culture of deathand towards life: a culture of life to shape how we treat one another, how we live together, and the messages that we send to our young people.
We pray that God's mercy and love will help heal the physical, spiritual, and emotional wounds and bring hope to a grieving nation.