Once again our nation has been murderously rent by hatred and violence, rooted in a counterfeit notion of religious faith and magnified by our gun culture. The shootings in Orlando are a wound to our entire society, and this time the LGBT community has been specifically targeted and victimized.
It is all too easy when faced with such wanton slaughter and human suffering to reach for a solution which is itself founded in hatred, prejudice and recrimination.
But our Catholic faith demands that we reject such a pathway and embrace with ever greater strength the solidarity of all people who stand as the one family of the God who is Father of us all.
We pray for the many victims in Orlando who were targeted for death simply because of their sexual orientation, and we grieve with their loving families and friends. This tragedy is a call for us as Catholics to combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country. We pray for the Muslim community in our nation, who have acted in unanimity to deplore this act of violence and to reject hatred rooted in a distortion of Muslim faith. We pray for the first responders whose courage and suffering are a witness to the spirit of sacrifice that ennobles American society. And we commit ourselves to a pathway which seeks true security for our nation not only in efforts to identify those who would do us harm, but far more importantly in building a culture which truly embodies and fortifies the equal dignity of every woman and man.