Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Gun Violence

Church Teaching and Statements

The USCCB has been a consistent advocate for peace and the prevention of gun and other forms of violence that strike at the life and dignity of persons. In 1994, recalling the words of Pope Paul VI, “if you want peace, work for justice,” the U.S. bishops issued their pastoral message, Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action. In their message the bishops stated, “We have an obligation to respond. Violence -- in our homes, our schools and streets, our nation and world -- is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of our sisters and brothers.”

The USCCB was also a supporter of the Assault Weapons Ban initially passed in 1994 but which expired in 2004. In 2000, the U.S. bishops issued their pastoral statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice. In the statement the bishops called for all people to work for a culture of life and to do more to end violence in our homes and to help victims break out of patterns of abuse. In regard to gun violence prevention the bishops wrote, “We support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and make them safer (especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children or anyone other than the owner), and we reiterate our call for sensible regulation of handguns.” 

On November 7, 2017, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged national leaders to engage in a true debate about solutions to gun violence.

In Ohio, the Catholic Bishops issued statements regarding proposed changes to  "stand your ground" provisions, and the carrying of concealed guns in our churches.

Ohio Bishops Issue Statement on Gun Violence

Encourage elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to promote the culture of life.

We urge open and civil discourse that will result in the enactment of bipartisan reforms. We pray that Ohio’s leaders will set aside political agendas and achieve solutions that promote the common good and safety of all people. We believe just solutions can be found that will not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

We commend state leaders who are actively seeking solutions to the pressing issue of gun violence. We applaud Governor Kasich for calling together persons with differing perspectives and for his leadership in seeking points of common agreement...

Governor Kasich's Recommendations

Governor Kasich Proposes "Consensus" Changes to Help Reduce Gun Violence

Catholic Conference of Ohio Applauds the Governor's Leadership in this Area

On March 1, 2018,  Governor John R. Kasich offered the Ohio General Assembly recommendations to help reduce gun violence.  A group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of views came together to search for common ground on such policies.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio participated in this process. Through this process, the group reached unanimous agreement on several proposals.

Call for Prayer and Healing

Pope Francis & Bishop Conference President Reactions to Shooting at Florida High School

Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement is as follows:
"We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, 'behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."

The Holy Father’s condolences

The following is the telegram of condolences sent on behalf of the Holy Father. ​


The Most Reverend Thomas Gerard Wenski Archbishop of Miami His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Assuring all those affected by this devastating attack of his spiritual closeness, he prays that Almighty God may grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the wounded and those who grieve. With the hope that such senseless acts of violence may cease, Pope Francis invokes upon all of you the divine blessings of peace and strength.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

USCCB Domestic Justice Chairman Urges True Debate On Gun Violence

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Calls for "Reasonable Steps"

Excerpt from the Statement: "...Violence in our society will not be solved by a single piece of legislation, and many factors contribute to what we see going on all around us. Even so, our leaders must engage in a real debate about needed measures to save lives and make our communities safer. The USCCB continues to urge a total ban on assault weapons, which we supported when the ban passed in 1994 and when Congress failed to renew it in 2004..."


Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.