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Cupich: No plans to beef up church security here after Texas massacre

Cardinal Blase Cupich. | Brian Jackson / Sun-Times

Cardinal Blase Cupich said Monday he has no plans to increase security at Catholic churches in the Chicago archdiocese in the wake of a church shooting in Texas that’s left 26 people dead.

“I don’t want to make our churches places in which people feel as though they should be fearful about coming in,” he said.

“One we begin in some way to make our churches these safety zones in a military style approach I think that we’re going to lose something in the character of our places of worship,” Cupich said Monday while chatting with reporters after speaking at an event hosted by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics on the Hyde Park campus.

“We do look at always making sure our communities are safe. One of the ways of course is banning guns all together in our churches, which we have done,” he said.

In September Cupich issued a decree banning guns from all schools, churches and other archdiocese buildings.

“But in terms of a different approach to safety and security, I don’t see any reason at this point for us to do different than what we’ve been doing.”

Cupich called the church shooting — which comes more than two years after white supremacist Dylan Roof killed nine people at an African American church in Charleston, S.C. — “the height of insanity” and called for legislation banning high powered weapons.

“We don’t need military weapons in our society. We’re not supposed to be at war with one another. Let’s make sure that we don’t have weapons to declare war on each other,” he said.

The reason, after so many mass shootings such weapons are still available, Cupich said, is greed.

“Quite frankly it’s because there’s too much money, this is very lucrative business,” he said.

“And let’s not be naïve about it, this is a money issue. And it’s not thinking about the Second Amendment. It is about people who want to make money on these weapons and really don’t care about the human cost.”