Memorial to the victims of the Texas school shootings Memorial to the victims of the Texas school shootings  (AFP or licensors)

US Archbishop: Gun control a question of life, along with abortion

US Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque sends a message to the faithful recalling the importance of the healing role of the Eucharist, especially as the nation struggles to come to terms with the latest act of gun violence.

By Vatican News staff writer

Archbishop Jackels posted a message for the faithtful of Dubuque, Iowa, in the midwest of the USA, looking at the life issues we are called to face as believers, especially in the aftermath of the shocking mass shootings in Texas.

The Archbishop previously served at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for eight years under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Below is the message he posted on 25 May 2022, entitled,  "Repair scandal through the healing of the Eucharist."

Pity the grocery shoppers in Buffalo, the school kids in Texas, their grieving families, and everyone now more afraid than ever of doing those simple, everyday things. You’ve got to wonder about reasons for refusing reasonable limits on gun ownership, which are inspired by the common good and offering protection from harm.

We readily identify things like abortion and capital punishment as life issues, which Catholic teaching identifies as absolutely wrong under any circumstance. But protecting the earth, our common home, or making food, water, shelter, education and health care accessible, or defense against gun violence… these are life issues too.

Some people want to repair the scandal of pro-choice Catholic politicians by refusing them the Eucharist. But that’s a misguided response for at least two reasons: As Jesus said, it’s the sick people who need a doctor, not the healthy, and he gave us the Eucharist as a healing remedy; don’t deny the people who need the medicine.

Also, to be consistent, to repair the scandal of Catholics being indifferent or opposed to all those other life issues, they would have to be denied Holy Communion as well. Better, I think, to put the Eucharist in the hands of such Catholics in hopes that one day soon they would put their hands to work on behalf of life, in defense of all life.

Michael O. Jackels

Archbishop of Dubuque

28 May 2022, 16:40