The bishops of the Archdiocese of Denver are calling the rash of mass shootings that have taken place in the United States in recent years a “cancer” on society.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez wrote this in a statement released the morning after a lone gunman entered a Walmart in Thornton, Colorado, on Nov. 1, and opened fire on those around him. He killed three people, and then fled.
“These acts of random violence are a growing cancer on our society,” the bishops wrote in the statement, “which reflect how little our culture values and upholds the dignity of human life.”
The bishops remind the faithful of the duty to “love one another,” and to “treat one another with civility, dignity and respect.” And they invite all to join them in prayer for the victims and their families.
The full statement is below:
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On Wednesday night in Thornton, a lone shooter reportedly walked into a Walmart around 6 p.m. and “nonchalantly” opened fire on those around him.
He then fled the scene, after having killed three people—two men and a woman. No other injuries have been reported.
Here in Colorado we witnessed in 1999 one of the first and more atrocious mass shootings in recent memory at Columbine High School. Then in 2012 we witnessed the Aurora shooting at the Century 16 movie theater. In the past few years, too many similar incidents have taken place. These acts of random violence are a growing cancer on our society, which reflect how little our culture values and upholds the dignity of human life.
There is something deeply wrong with a society where senseless acts of violence continue to repeat themselves over and over, with increased randomness and less constraint.
In the wake of such a display of pure evil, one can feel powerless. But we must remember that we all have the ability and the duty to instill Christian love into our culture. These acts call for each one of us to reflect in our hearts how we love one another, and how we are called to treat one another with civility, dignity and respect.
Let us all pray today for the victims and their families, and for the community of Thornton. May they experience the comfort and peace that only Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can give.
Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.
Archbishop of Denver
Most Rev. Jorge H. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
Photo caption: Police cars parked in front of the Walmart at 9901 Grant St, Thornton, CO, the morning after a lone gunman entered the shopping center and killed three people. Photo by Jason Weinrich/Denver Catholic