Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and nonviolence movement, joins with the thousands of individuals and groups who have raised their voice over the mass shooting events of the past ten days.

These mass shooting tragedies are not the new normal, but they are the expected consequences of the continued and growing rhetoric of hatred, fear, bigotry, racism, and intolerance voiced consistently from the White House.

The name calling, the demonizing of our cities and their citizens for the systemic and racial inequalities that exist there, along with the subtle and not so subtle violent chants are having an effect that breeds contempt for and violence towards brown and black immigrant and refugee communities and towards anyone else who disagrees with the tone and policies of the Trump administration. Furthermore, blaming violent mass shootings on mental illness is a pathetic attempt to victimize yet another group of people. It is also a cop-out for implementing common-sense gun legislation, background checks, and eliminating access to weapons of war.

The lack of sensible gun control, the promotion of the National Rifle Association’s values over a respect for people’s lives, the hate-filled rhetoric, and the implicit and explicit support of White Nationalism are violent factors contributing to the 249 mass shootings that have taken place in the United States in 2019 alone.  The violence will only continue to grow until we address these core issues.

Praying for a change of heart and direction for our country is important but ACTION is needed, too. We know that silence means complicity and consent, and people who care about ending hate-filled rhetoric and gun violence can no longer remain silent by-standers. Enough is enough.

Pax Christi USA invites every individual and organization who believes in the values of being welcoming, open, and accepting and who understand the profound truth that we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers must make their voices heard.

“Peace with justice” is not a catchy phrase. It is a dream rooted in the Gospel. It is at the heart of what is best about our U.S. democracy. It is the desire of every person who believes that instilling fear, violence, and hatred is never the answer. 

18 thoughts on “Statement: Mass Shooting Tragedies Are the Expected Consequences of Hatred and Violence

  1. The disgraceful tone coming from the White House has directly influenced the violence we see almost daily in our country. Common sense gun laws are the minimum legislative response that we need immediately.

  2. I am praying for the President and others to change their hateful rhetoric. However we need action too. Jesus believed in action. We all have to do our part to let the nation know that this is not acceptable and that domestic terrorism is terrorism which must be stopped by the authorities and the public at large. Thank you Pax Christi for saying what needed said.

  3. I am so happy to hear that Pax Christi, a leadership group of the Catholic Faith made this statement. The silence of most Catholic bishops is very painful. Thank you!

  4. All the condemnation against Trump’s words and actions are true and necessary to condemn. Bu we are not going far enough. Yhere are people doing jail time for committing crimes at the behest of Yrump. Yet, he has yet to be charged with anything. Is this the new law of the land…that the president is immune from the consequences of his crimes???

  5. Thank you so much for this statement — how can anyone support the kind of rhetoric leveled against people who are in any way different from themselves? We have our individual struggles — our likes and dislikes of those with whom we disagree — we all need to keep working at that.

  6. How refreshing and uplifting to read such a response to the madness overtaking the nation. Now, if only the local hierarchies and clergy would be as audacious and use their pulpits to spread this message of peace, toleration and acceptance. They may even change the minds and hearts of the large numbers of Catholics who voted for and still support this President.

  7. Thank you for your uplifting message of inspiration towards action and the assuming of a critical consciousness of the nonacceptable articulation of hatred and bigotry that reigns from this administration in the White House. Rita Raboin,SND Member of Pax Christi –

  8. Thank you, Pax Christi, for your statement. I hope that the Catholics who continue to support political leaders and religious leaders in their divisiveness and RACISM will receive the love of Christ in their hearts and minds. In this way, the leadership will be CHANGED. As will the WORLD.

  9. While I completely appreciate, understand, and often share, the sentiment expressed, I would like to offer a slightly different methodology of the “nonviolence” we are hoping to sow. For example, I am thinking that as Catholics we can hear what comes from the white house as expressions of feelings, needs, and requests, as we can learn from the practice of Non-Violent communication (NVC). Once we can put aside our judgments and hear in this way (without complying with what they may want, of course), we can implore people to forgive the reapers of vitriol, but in turn sow compassionate communication.

    We can certainly make statements requesting less access to weapons and asking people to consider the humanity of all races: “When I hear the comment, ‘those people should leave America’, I feel upset. I care about ‘those people’ and want them to have the freedom to live a good life and be accepted and cherished here. I (we) ask that the administration makes comments that welcome and value our diverse population.”

    I find myself very often needing to understand and forgive Donald Trump, “white nationalists”, the NRA, and those that are operating with a different set of priorities and ideology. Do fellow members find themselves in the same struggle?

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