Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno
The Violent Deaths at Emanuel AME Church
Charleston, South Carolina
As Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, I wish to express on behalf of the entire Catholic Community, our sincere sorrow to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the vicious and cowardly attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. To the members of the faith community of Emanuel AME Church we pledge our prayerful support during this very sad and difficult time.
Violence is not an answer or response to conflict or disagreements among us. We live in a “blessed” country comprised of rich cultural and ethnic diversity. It is this richness that makes our country so unique and so remarkable in the world. But when violence becomes a “normal” consequence of our diversity, when hatred and suspicion invade our national discourse and behavior, then we are in danger of losing the “soul” of who we are and who we are meant to be.
Faith guides us to see with the eyes, the heart, and the wisdom of God, As we reflect on the horrible acts of
violence around us, let us allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide us toward peace and reconciliation which lead us to a deeper resolve to bring about true change through the conversion of our hearts.