Friday, December 09, 2022

Church leaders: a culture of life means working to end gun violence

NEW YORK – Lamenting the “culture of death” that exists in America after three mass shootings less than a month later, the Archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo García-Silar, on June 8 called for the leader to revive the culture of Catholics. talked about the need. Life

“People don’t have respect and that’s why we have to bring it up,” García-Siller said. “There is not much to lose. We have lost our lives. What else do we want to lose?”

García-Siller has spent a lot of time in Uvalde, Texas, following the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. The Archbishop has led many people to the cause of the victims and the community, and has met with victims’ families and other members of the community in the weeks following the tragedy.

García-Ciller has been vocal about the need to reform gun policy, re-decreeing on June 8 that guns have become “idol” in America, even though “with the same sacred weapons we kill children and innocent people.” “

That comment aside, he focused largely on what Catholics across the country could do to bring about change in their local parishes. He said that first listen to the stories of those who were directly affected to know the truth. Second, he said it is important to organize, lead and appeal directly to political leaders from a faith – not a political point of view.

“A big problem that I see is happening over the past few weeks is that everything is still seen by politics, and when it’s just the lens, people don’t care. Structures in place ‘They don’t matter, in improving processes, in security… that won’t be heard because it’s political and it’s basically the party line that drives everything,’ García-Siller said.

“The best way for people of faith to be truly led by the Spirit…

García-Silar spoke with other faith leaders on the way forward after three mass shootings over the past month – including one in Uvalde – that claimed 35 innocent lives. This discussion was hosted by the Georgetown University Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.

John Carr, the initiative’s co-director, who served for more than 20 years as director of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, began the discussion with a note on the political debate about how next. be stopped. Tragedy, and alternative perspectives within Catholic social teaching.

“People argue whether we need thoughts and prayers, or change and action. Whether it’s guns, or people killing people. Whether it’s mental health, or young people getting weapons of attack Whether it is a culture of violence, or policies that do not protect us from gun violence,” Carr said. “The genius of Catholic social teaching is the word and that brings things together.”

Sister Judy Byrne led her comments with testimony from 11-year-old Mia Cerillo during a June 8 House Oversight Committee hearing on gun violence from day one.

Cerillo is a Rob Elementary School Shooting Survivor. In her pre-recorded testimony, she elaborated on the gunman entering her classroom, shooting her teacher and classmates, and bloodthirstying herself to trick the gunman into thinking she was dead .

Byrne, director of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investing [NWCRI] And a leader in corporate responsibility efforts on gun safety, said he noticed how difficult it was to remember, which made him wonder why a child had to lead change efforts in the beginning.

“What I’m thinking now is that we can’t let our kids do the heavy lifting,” she said. “We adults must stand up and demand that gun violence ends.”

Byron and the NWCRI work to bring gun manufacturers on board as part of the Solution to Gun Violence. He has presented resolutions at every shareholder conference since 2019 to Sturm, Ruger & Company, and Smith & Wesson — the nation’s two largest gun makers — to optimize human rights policy and conduct human rights impact assessments. He has requested an assessment to see if guns can be made safer, and into the companies’ marketing approach.

As of June 8, Byrne acknowledged that companies’ responses have been low over the years. However, she expects progress as Sturm, Ruger & Co. His proposal was supported.

Byrne acknowledged that many Catholics likely do not invest in gun manufacturers, but one way for Catholics to make a difference is to see whether other investments they make influence gun culture in America.

“Talk to your managers,” she said. “What about banks? Have you invested in banks and they are financing gun manufacturers?,” adding the examples of Mastercard and Visa, and the way their platforms are used to buy ghost guns online. Is. “

Commenting on the May 14 mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, where 10 people were killed in an apparently racially motivated attack, Father Brian Massingale, primarily one of All Saints in the Black St. Parish and Archdiocese of the St. Charles Borromeo Resurrection Weekend associates were pastors. of New York, said Catholic teaching at this time calls on believers to ask, “How are we living together?”

“And then, be led by the Spirit and embrace the gift of courage of the Spirit, to demand from our elected officials that they reflect the will of the people and protect the dignity of the people,” Theological and Social Ethics in Fordham Professor Masingel said. university.

Follow John Lavenberg on Twitter: @johnlavenburg

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