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U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph Statement on the Mass Shooting in Orlando, FL

We, the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, with a mission of unity and committed to protecting the rights and dignity of all people, decry the horrific mass shooting of innocent victims at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. We believe that all people are made in God’s image and likeness and are deserving of unconditional love and respect.

We are astounded by this tragic loss of human life. Believing that each person is loved by God, we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. We extend prayers and heartfelt sorrow to the families and friends of those who were killed in Orlando as well as first responders, medical personnel, the people of Orlando, and our Muslim sisters and brothers. We are one. All are our “dear neighbors”. All worship the same God and believe in a loving and peaceful world.

Our nation has witnessed too many lives lost due to the availability of assault weapons. We raise our voices to the U.S. Congress echoing the words of Pope Francis and ask: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

Together, with all people of goodwill, let us work together to eliminate gun violence and eradicate every form of discrimination, so that the peace for which Jesus lived and died may be realized on this earth.