Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement in response to the March 15 mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed at least 49 people.
“I am deeply saddened by the senseless attacks at the Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed dozens of worshippers and seriously injured many others, including children. This slaughter of innocent Muslim brothers and sisters praying peacefully is being described as a terrorist attack carried out by a self-identified fascist and his accomplices. As the Catholic bishops of New Zealand said, ‘we are particularly horrified that this has happened at a place and time of prayer.’
“Unfortunately, we Americans are all too familiar with gun violence, which often targets religious communities. However, we must not remain complacent or desensitized to the horror of these tragedies.
“I join with my brother bishops in New Zealand in expressing solidarity with the Muslim community and in calling Catholics to join in prayer for the victims of this shooting, their families, and the Muslim community that was directly targeted.
“May almighty God change the hearts of those who hate to recognize the inherent dignity of all people and bring consolation to all those effected by this heart-rending loss.”
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