We released the following statement in 2016, and we are saddened to have to continually echo our call for an end to gun violence, racism and white supremacy in the United States. Tuesday’s mass shooting in Atlanta is the latest tragedy to make headlines, while 100 people are shot and killed in this U.S. every day.
A call for an end to gun violence
As women committed to nonviolence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet call for an end to gun violence in the United States of America. We are a congregation of 835 vowed members who oppose the escalating violence, which is fueled by hatred, intolerance, discrimination, racism, extremism and ignorance in our nation. Violence is leaving in its wake too many broken hearts and spirits by indescribable suffering. Families are torn by violence in the home, schools and streets. Violence seems to be the new norm in the nation and world. It is a public health and moral crisis that is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of people in our country.
We are committed to a comprehensive approach to gun violence prevention that focuses on prevention of all forms of homicide, suicides, and unintentional shootings. We support the restriction of access to assault weapons. We call upon Congress and state and local officials to enact gun laws that include making assault weapons illegal, insuring comprehensive background checks on those purchasing guns at tradeshows, online and in stores.
We turn to the God of mercy and peace, the God who wipes away every tear, to give us the strength to be instruments and forces of change, to be messengers of unity and reconciliation.
Pope Francis on Gun Control
“Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”Pope Francis (Speech to U.S. Congress on September 24, 2015)