Today at Mass the homily referenced the Orlando killings without any mention of the targetting of the LGBTQ community or of the need to address the easy access to guns and the violence it helps fuel. Our response we were told should be to work for the greater glory of God. But there is no glory to God and much to be ashamed of in the bishops’ silence on the escalating rhetoric of hate in the public square and the kind of violence that was unleashed today. To the silence after Stonewall do we now add the silence after Orlando? And do the Bishops have nothing to say about how today will escalate xenophobia and encourage reprisals against genuine Muslims? What kind of witness to Christ are people in the pews, and the general public to read in the lack of a forceful Catholic response from those who hold institutional power and can command media attention?
The following is a statement of Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, released on June 12, 2016, in response to the mass shooting at a gay and lesbian nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier that day.
Words truly cannot express the horror, anguish, anger, and revulsion at the news of the mass murder of at least 50 people at a gay and lesbian nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Such an action should instill in all people around the globe a commitment to end gun violence and to protect the lives of LGBT people.
Adding to the anguish of this tragedy is the response of most Catholic leaders. The Vatican’s initial statement expressed sorrow and condemnation, and hope “that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence . . .” But the Vatican did not refer to the fact…
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