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Three Dead And At Least 12 Wounded In Mass Shooting At Gilroy Garlic Festival In California A make-shift memorial for victims of a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California  (2019 Getty Images)

U.S. Bishops calls for an end to gun violence

Following the shooting at a food festival in California on Sunday, the U.S. Bishops call for support of the victims and for actions to end gun violence.

By Vatican News

The Gilroy Garlic Food Festival was winding down on Sunday afternoon when a 19 year-old man began shooting at random with a semi-automatic rifle. Three people died, including a 6-year old boy and a 13-year old girl. At least another 12 were injured. Police killed the shooter within minutes of him opening fire. The motive for his shooting rampage remains unclear.

Supporting the victims

Bishop Frank Dewane of Florida is Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In a statement issued earlier this week, he calls for support of the victims and for actions to end gun violence.

“It is heartbreaking to learn yet again of a mass shooting that has taken innocent lives, and wounded many others”, reads the text of the statement. “The Lord calls us to comfort those who mourn and to be peacemakers in a violent world. We pray for the victims and their families”.

Confronting gun violence

Bishop Dewane says the Church should act in ways that heal and support all those affected by gun violence. “It is disturbing that our society would seem to allow some to feel comfort in being violent”, he says. “Our legislators must make changes to our gun policy to prevent the loss of life”.

Making sacrifices

In the statement, the Bishops addresses his fellow Americans, saying: “We must be honest with ourselves that we have a sickness, almost a plague, with the problem of gun violence.  As Christians, we must look to the Cross, repentant of the ways that have led us to this point and, with God’s grace, abandon such senseless, inhuman acts”. Bishop Dewane concludes with an invitation to “make the sacrifices necessary to end the violent killing that saturates our nation”.

31 July 2019, 09:20