Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, February 23, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Gun Violence

 

For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and adopt reasonable policies to help curb gun violence. 

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.

In addition, the bishops have supported:

  • Measures that control the sale and use of firearms, such as universal background checks for all gun purchases;
  • Limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines;
  • A federal law to criminalize gun trafficking;
  • Improved access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence;
  • Regulations and limitations on the purchasing of handguns; and
  • Measures that make guns safer, such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using the gun without permission and supervision. 

While acknowledging the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and related jurisprudence, we live in a fallen world with daily advances in modern technology. Some weapons are increasingly capable of easily causing mass murder when used with an evil purpose. Society must recognize that the common good requires reasonable steps to limit access to such firearms by those who would intend to use them in that way.

USCCB Statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, November 7, 2017.


Ohio Bishops Statements on Gun Violence
 

Stand your Ground / Concealed Carry in Houses of Worship, February 6, 2014

Statement Regarding Concealed Weapon Legislation – May 25, 1999

Regarding Concealed Weapon Legislation – October 11, 1995


 

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. ​

Telegram

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..."

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