STATEMENT: Sisters of Providence and Sisters of Saint Dominic of Tacoma call for end to gun violence and national culture of violence

August 7, 2019

Today we raise our voices together as religious congregations of Catholic women to say enough is enough. Our congregations are called to lift up people who are poor and vulnerable, advocate for the marginalized and rejected, and care for the victims and the voiceless. We serve our neighbors in need through social justice ministries and compassionate presence. The recent mass shootings and rampant rage and division that has overpowered the nation represents a most egregious injustice — the disrespect of and failure to protect our most precious gift of life — and demands changes to our national gun policy and our national culture.

There is so much to mourn at this time, so let us pause to pray for those who were killed or wounded, for their grieving families and friends, for the strength and guidance of those providing care, for the transformation of those who commit these acts and healing for their loved ones. Let us call on our Provident God to move each one of us to action so we can help put an end to this senseless violence. Everyone is a child of God, equal in the eyes of God, and should be equal in our eyes as well. The path to peace begins here.

As part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic sisters in the U.S., we stand with nearly 1350 members, who represent more than 44,000 women religious in the U.S., and we pledge our support to end the scourge of rage and hatred that has gripped our nation. We will be unfailing in our efforts to call for legislation that works to end gun violence quickly and effectively. We implore all legislative bodies to pass legislation that effectively prevents gun violence. We call for the passage of laws that ban civilian ownership of assault weapons, require universal background checks for all gun sales, make trafficking in weapons a federal crime, and provide funding for gun violence prevention research. Finally, we call for resources to be dedicated to addressing the deeper, more complex causes of violence in our nation. Only by focusing upstream on these negative influences will we succeed in making our nation a safer and more peaceful place for all.