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'We must come together ... resist evil'

Archbishop Wenski's statement on shooting at Broward high school

Archbishop Thomas Wenski issued this statement Feb. 14, 2018

It is with great sadness I learned of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland (Broward County), Florida. I offer my prayers and those of the entire Catholic community for those affected by this senseless tragedy: we pray for the deceased and wounded, for their families and loved ones, for our first responders and our entire South Florida community.

We all are understandably outraged when innocent children are made victims of senseless violence. But, even as we are still learning about the appalling dimensions of this tragedy, we must come together as a community to support one another in this time of grief. This Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten Season that calls us to penance and conversion.  With God’s help, we can remain strong and resolute to resist evil in all its manifestations.  May God heal the broken hearted and comfort the sorrowing as we once again face as a nation another act of senseless violence and horrifying evil.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

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Comments from readers

gary - 02/18/2018 12:48 PM
This 19 year old boy who murdered the 17 victims was so obviously mentally ill. The fact that he was able to purchase a weapon is just part of the problem. The bigger part is our society is not set up anymore to identify, diagnose, and treat the people who have this level of mental illness. How do we prevent this tragedy from going the way of all the others where nothing is done? If a team of professionals and a data base is created to identify then verify troubled individuals, then of course laws should be in place to prevent these individuals from purchasing weapons. But the biggest and most important change should be to re-instate state mental facilities, using 2018 standards, to house and diagnose and treat the mentally incompetent. These new standards can be quite different from the 1960's standards where mental institutions were inhumane and ineffective. If bureaucrats spend the next decade trying to change gun laws but ignore providing treatment to the individuals who need it, we will not have solved the problem, we will only rewrite laws. Laws are only for the law-abiding and mentally competent.
Leonardo Lopez - 02/18/2018 10:45 AM
Enough is enough. I want to echo the feelings of Ms. Garity. We must make a stand and lend the weigh of the Catholic Church to those who ask for common sense legislation to control the proliferation of semiautomatic weapons. It is our duty as Christians to try to stop this carnage.
Gloria Garity - 02/17/2018 02:43 PM
Thank you, Archbishop Wenski, for your beautiful message. I think we, as a Church, need to demand more in terms of gun control legislation. The way things are now, society is facilitating this kind of evil. Enough is enough. This needs to end. We need to make a stand and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and to give us courage to do what we need to do: demand gun control legislation. Otherwise these senseless acts of violence will continue to happen. It’s irresponsible on our part to ignore it.
Rev. Vincent Sheehy - 02/17/2018 01:45 PM
The statement of Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is a compassionate message to everyone who mourns this senseless tragedy at the Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Everyone should be on the alert to report to the police any realistic threats to killing others. It is better to err on the side of caution than be aware of a future possible killing and fail to report it to the police.
Patricia Kelly-Banks - 02/17/2018 10:30 AM
We must as a Catholic Community lead the way on avoiding adversities of evil entities. It's seriously sad and tragic for this to occur in a Nation of Love and caring citizens. We must reach out for those to know there's another way to deal with desperation away from violence and help them change their perception of life. It is our obligation in carrying out God's Will to recognize potentially dangerous people and provide help for their obvious mental and emotional distresses. Programs should be implemented for awareness at earlier ages and beyond to find lost souls of society-keeping track of them to assure serenity.
gabriela brown - 02/16/2018 11:02 AM
It's time to think of the schools in the Archdiocese and ensure all is being done for our children's safety. These are the times we live in, dark and dangerous with no or little gun control and an unfathomable accessibility to weapons of mass destruction. We must come to the realization this is the reality. We cannot wait for our government to pass common sense laws. We have to take care of our kids today. I call for metal detectors and heightened security in all schools in the archdiocese. It is our responsibility to keep our children safe and we are failing. As a parent we don't care about the latest robotics set, high-tech classroom, pristine baseball field. We care about our children being the safest we can keep them at their schools. There's much more we can do and we're not. 18 school shootings in the last 45 days merit much more than a prayer. Prayer without action is a lie. We need to go into our pockets and take care of our number one responsibility, our children.
Alice Militano - 02/15/2018 04:04 PM
“Live by the sword, die by the sword”.
Nadia - 02/15/2018 08:57 AM
Thank you for your words Archbishop. I pray that we as a collective society can figure out a way to keep these weapons away from those who plan to do harm. May the families find strength to move on from this horrible tragedy that is plaguing some of what SHOULD BE our safest places for our children.
Kathleen Falestiny - 02/14/2018 08:37 PM
God help us in keeping weapons, especially automatic assault rifles, out of the hands of those intent on causing harm and death to the innocent. Anyone with knowledge of or witness to posts on social media regarding a person(s) stating their intent to harm or kill...Please report to the Authorities ASAP!

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