Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“Like many Americans, I awoke this morning to learn of the horrific acts of violence that took place last night in Las Vegas. So many precious and innocent lives were senselessly lost in an evil manner and it fills all of us with an unspeakable sadness. As the number of dead and injured continues to rise, let us pray that God will receive the souls of those who have been lost, that He will heal the injured, and that He will pour His comforting grace upon all those bearing the heavy burdens of suffering and grief.
The terror that filled yesterday evening and its aftermath serve as a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the very real presence of evil in our world. Let us resolve each day to treat our brothers and sisters with dignity, charity, and respect. May we all embrace that which is good so that the light of Christ will prevail.”
Diocese of Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic
“It is with tragic irony that the Catholic Church’s observance of Respect Life Month begins with the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. My prayers, and those of all in the Diocese of Greensburg, are with the victims of this senseless tragedy. We also pray for their families and loved ones. We can never become numbed to the seemingly endless stream of outrageous crimes that show a lack of respect for our fellow human beings. We continue to teach and proclaim that every human person is created in God’s image and has the right to life. Although the event in Las Vegas is deeply disturbing for all of us, we will continue to pray that the light of God’s love will reach into the darkest places in our nation and our world. As Jesus said, ‘Be not afraid.’”
Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik
“My heart and my prayers go out to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre and their loved ones. We should all be grateful for the courageous actions of the Las Vegas police. But we must also look beyond this tragedy to broader patterns that allowed it to happen. While little is yet known about motive, this shows that gun control is a pro-life issue.
As I stated in June 2016, following shootings in Orlando, South Carolina and Wilkinsburg:
Jesus is weeping with us and for us.
It is time for us as a nation to require at least as much from those purchasing guns as we expect from those making application for a driver’s license. Public safety must always come first.
I urge our legislators to make it far more difficult for those with dangerously impaired moral reasoning, criminals and terrorists to make their point with a gun. It is important that our government require background checks for all gun purchases, limit civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, make gun trafficking a federal crime, and ensure that those on “no-fly” lists cannot buy guns.
I also urge our legislators to improve access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence.
No law has ever eliminated the crime it addresses. But laws limit damage, enable the prosecution of perpetrators and make a statement about the values of our society.
Please join with me in prayer that we as a nation will seek to build a society in which the right to life is the standard against which all other rights are measured.”
Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera
“We grieve over the tragic loss of innocent lives caused by the horrendous mass shooting in Las Vegas. We pray that God will bestow his healing comfort on the victims, their families and friends. We pray also for an end to all forms of hatred and violence.”
Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka, Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia
“The recent tragic loss of life and well-being in Las Vegas and from the terrorism act in Edmonton, Canada, preceded by the loss of life and major hardships experienced as a result of hurricanes in the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas have caused all of us to reflect on the preciousness of life. As we pray for the victims of these tragedies, we reflect on the gift of life each of us is given. One’s thoughts during prayers are filled with thanksgiving for the gift of life. We renew our personal resolve to value and cherish this precious gift of life shared with loved ones. Hopefully each of us will be motivated to give greater thought and commitment to efforts to value and protect life from the conception of life to natural death. Perhaps our best testimony to the innocent lives lost in the tragedies of recent weeks could be our own commitment to ensure respect for life from conception to natural death.
The gift of life is endangered by destructive forces of nature, and the manipulative and controlling hearts and minds of humanity. Innocent life is daily taken by those who advocate abortion and euthanasia. Our efforts are needed to support people in every stage of life. Can we do more to advocate and assist those who are mentally and physically handicapped? The weak and elderly also require our love and attention for their special needs.
Let’s cherish the gift of life given to us generously by God. Express our gratitude to Almighty God in our prayers and with thankful hearts. Our expressions of gratitude ought to lead us to active commitment to love and serve in whatever ways are presented to us in the journey of life. Each October we renew our commitment for RESPECT FOR LIFE! Celebrate the giftedness of life given to us by God.”