February 15, 2018

Statement of Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Regarding Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

“Nineteen years ago I sat with the parents of children murdered in the Columbine High School massacre, and buried some of their dead.  Nothing seems to change, no matter how brutal the cost.  Terrible things happen; pious statements are released, and the nation goes back to its self-absorbed distractions.

The latest massacre in south Florida requires two things from all of us.  We need to pray for the victims and their families because — as I witnessed firsthand at Columbine — their suffering is intense and long lasting.  And we need to be angry: angry at our lawmakers for doing so little to prevent these catastrophes; angry at our news and entertainment media for simultaneously feeding off these tragedies and fueling them with a steady stream of sensationalism and moral incoherence; angry at ourselves for perversely tolerating these things, and then forgetting them until the next round of violence.

This is Lent.  As a people, we have a lot to repent and confess.  And let’s not lie to ourselves that tighter gun restrictions — as vital and urgent as they now are — will solve the problem.  We’ve lost our respect for human life on a much broader scale, and this is the utterly predictable result.”

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia




Stephanie Brophy
Associate Director of Communications
215-587-3747 (office)