The archbishop of Chicago says “hateful rhetoric” from some of the country’s leaders is partly to blame for mass shootings.
Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich issued a statement Sunday in the wake of deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas that claimed at least 29 lives in less than 24 hours and wounded numerous others.
Cupich didn’t name anyone specifically, but says the public needs to hold leaders accountable “who fuel these violent acts by dividing humanity through hateful rhetoric.” He says “elected officials who have failed to condemn hate speech” must be stopped.
In the Texas border city of El Paso, a gunman opened fire Saturday in a shopping area, killing 20. Hours later in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine.
Here is Cupich’s full statement, released Sunday:
Today the Archdiocese of Chicago mourns and prays for the victims of yesterday’s gun massacres in El Paso and Dayton. We stand with their loved ones demanding an end to this deadly status quo.
We reject the idea that living in America means risking being gunned down by a killer wielding an assault weapon designed for mass killing.
We refuse to become inured to the horrible idea that families must calculate the risk of violent death when considering how to spend a summer weekend.
We cannot tolerate a society in which parents have to wonder whether the child they dropped off in the morning will become another statistic or if their own lives will end that day in their place of work.
Mass shootings are not an inevitability. All human beings have the right to live without violence. To behave otherwise is to advance a lie. Stopping this lie begins with holding accountable our elected officials who have done nothing to address gun violence. Inaction only cements the idea that these tragedies are acceptable and that the weapons that enable them are simply common features of American life today.
But we also need to hold accountable those in society, including some leaders, who fuel these violent acts by dividing humanity through hateful rhetoric. This must stop — along with the silence of our elected officials who have failed to condemn hate speech, for they are the very ones who have sworn to keep our nation safe.
We know that together we can do something to stem the flow of blood. And we call on our elected officials to show us that they know it too.