Thursday, February 22, 2018

JPIC Office Statement on Gun Violence

The Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) for the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word – in response to the suffering caused by various forms of violence around the world - continues to say No! to the violence that demeans and destroys God’s holy creation, and Yes! to a culture of life.  We extend our deepest sympathies to all those in the Parkland, FL community who were impacted by the most recent school shooting in our country.  As a Congregation that seeks to incarnate the healing and saving love of God in the world, we stand strong in our commitment to Gospel nonviolence and lament the rampant and senseless violence plaguing our society today. 

Just four days prior to the shooting in Parkland, FL, a meeting of “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” was held at the University of the Incarnate Word with candidates for state and federal office present to discuss their gun violence prevention policies.  Many Incarnate Word Sisters and Sisters of other congregations participated.  It is the responsibility of all people of faith and good will to work together to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence, where students and teachers don’t have to fear for their lives each day as they enter school. 

Our CCVI ministries include a high school in St. Louis, MO, two high schools and a university in San Antonio, TX, and more than 8 educational institutions in Mexico.  We are aware of and share in the fear and uncertainty felt by students, parents, and staff of educational institutions, and are inspired by their powerful determination to prevent future school shootings and gun violence. 

We stand in solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and others around the country who are rising up to demand action on gun control legislation so that no other school and community have to face this tragedy.  While we keep all those impacted by gun violence in prayers, we follow the lead of Pope Francis who reminds us that we have to take action to answer those prayers as the Body of Christ in the world today: “You pray for the hungry.  Then you feed them.  That’s how prayer works.” 

We pray for the victims and those mourning, and we seek to prevent future tragedies and end senseless gun violence by calling upon our elected officials to find the courage to reject the influence of the corporate gun lobby and immediately pass legislation that:

1) Bans semi-automatic assault weapons with high-capacity magazines (such as the AR-15);
2) Requires universal background checks for all gun purchases; and
3) Makes gun trafficking a federal crime. 

Please join us not only in thought and prayer, but in action by contacting your current elected representatives (both state and national) and demand the legislative points above.  Also educate yourself about the candidates up for election in the mid-term this year and make gun reform a top priority.  Future mass shootings are not inevitable. 

We draw our hope and strength through Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, who inspires us to co-create a culture of peace and nonviolence.  Let us be his healing hands in the world today. 

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