Friday, May 27, 2022

, U.S. Bishops Should Challenge Lawmakers to Pass Gun Safety Laws as Part of their Pro-Life Agenda, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP 

People visit a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, the site of a mass shooting.
An 18-year-old man shot and killed 19 children and two teachers and injured several more people. (CNS/Reuters/Nuri Vallbona)

The U.S. bishops have lobbied long and hard  on a pro-life agenda to end abortion, but , they have failed -with few exceptions- to use their influence to do anything about advocacy for gun safety laws to protect life.  This is not only inconsistent with a pro-life agenda from womb to tomb, but a major moral failure in pastoral leadership. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

From article: "If only someone did something about the murder of 19 children" National Catholic Reporter

"A voice of moral authority. You certainly wouldn't see it in the statement the U.S. bishops released May 24 after the mass murder. Three short sentences, not even given the simple weight of an episcopal signature, but instead attributed to the bishops' spokesperson. Worse yet, it included only a very bland call to find ways "to understand this epidemic of evil and violence" behind mass shootings in America. No mention of the need for gun control measures, or of any specific call for Congress to, you know, actually do something.

Perhaps it is sadly illuminating that this horror occurred only four days after San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced his decision to ban House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, from receiving Communion in his archdiocese, over her support for legalized abortion. What canonical punishment awaits the politicians, mostly Republicans, who largely refuse to vote for any significant form of gun control?

It's hard not to conclude that one party's efforts toward a culture of life have episcopal backing, while the other's does not. What a lasting shame that the seamless garment movement was so tarred and feathered for decades by the church's pro-life wing. People would not consider the church political if it had criticized both parties more equally, and also supported them more equally, when they sought to defend and promote human life and dignity.

At least a few bishops responded to the murders in Texas more seriously than their organization in Washington.

San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo GarcĂ­a-Siller, for example, called the shooting a "massacre" and said such shootings "are a most pressing life issue on which all in society must act."

Chicago Cardinal Cupich pointedly asked: "Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?"

And Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, responded with what sounds like holy anger.

"Don't tell me that guns aren't the problem, people are. I'm sick of hearing it," he said on Twitter. "The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin. We sacralize death's instruments and then are surprised that death uses them."

We're sick of hearing it, too. We're also sick of hearing the same song, always with a new verse — but always one where more of our children are butchered and no one in authority does anything. How long must this song go on?


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