Archbishop Charles ChaputArchbishop Charles Chaput released the following statement June 18 in response to the shooting June 17 in Charleston, S.C., in which nine people were killed.


“I am deeply saddened by the mass murder that occurred at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last evening. All life matters and when life is taken in such a violent way, all people of good will are devastated. The fact that nine people were shot to death as their pastor led Bible Study in their Church led to me to prayer throughout this day.

“On behalf of the Catholic faithful in Philadelphia, I offer my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the members of Emanuel AME Church. I especially note that Philadelphia is the home of Mother Bethel AME Church, the first African American Methodist Episcopal Church, founded by Richard Allen in 1794.

“As Reverend Martin Luther King said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’

“May love be our mission and give us the strength to drive out hate today and always.”