Statement on Gun Violence

Office of the House of Bishops

Statement on Gun Violence

August 12, 2019

“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from those who work evil; from the bloodthirsty save me.”  Psalm 59:1-2 NRSV 

We, the bishops of The Old Catholic Church, Province of the United States, in response to the violence that has once again shattered the hope and security in our communities, our neighborhoods, and our homes, extend our prayers to the victims, survivors and families of those who were killed or injured in the mass shootings that have taken place in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Violence triggers trauma, and trauma is an intense experience which shatters our fundamental understandings of life.  It takes a long time to reorient one’s life following a traumatic event and the process is complex, intense and exhausting.  We lift in our prayer, all those who are beginning the journey of recovery and reorientation following trauma.

We, who profess to follow in the steps of our Savior Jesus Christ must always hold in the ultimate regard the dignity and value of the human person.  We believe weapons of war, such as military style assault weapons, should never, ever be available to those who are not qualified and/or trained to own, operate and utilize such weapons.  We can think of no justifiable reason that military assault weapons should ever be available for sale to the general public. 

We call on Congress and all states, local municipalities, and towns to ban together and eliminate the sale of military assault weapons.  We also call on those same leaders to implement laws that will enhance the safety and security of all the lives of those who do own and bear arms;  laws that require background checks, ban excessive stock piling of ammunition and provide mental health counseling to any and all who would ever need such services.

We invite all peoples of every faith to join with us in praying for a culture of peace, and an ethos of healing and hope for all people.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we remain your servants,

Bishop Rosemary Ananis

Bishop Robert Fuentes

Bishop Michael Scalzi

Bishop Marty Shanahan

Standing Rock Letter of Solidarity

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins…

The Holy Cross Old Catholic Diocese of Minnesota

A member of The Old Catholic Church Province of the United States

Chairman, Dave Archambault II
Vice Chairman, Jesse B.J. McLaughlin
Secretary, Adele White

I stand in deepest solidarity with the indigenous Lakota and Dakota peoples of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and with all peoples of every race, nationality, orientation and language who find themselves oppressed by systems and structures of abusive power.  I recall the words of the Prophet Isaiah who said:   “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”  Is. 58:12

Mother Earth is sacred, not to one group, but to all peoples, because from her all life is brought forth and is sustained by her.  I believe, as a Christian that God created the world, and entrusted the care of that creation to the human race.  Whenever profits are placed before the protection and care of God’s creation, I believe, we as a people, violate the fundamental responsibility we have to the care of that magnificent life giving gift.

I stand with you and in support of the peaceful resistance movement to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline until such time that a full and thorough Environmental Impact Study is completed and peaceful, respectful and compassionate negotiations with the Standing Rock Tribe can be completed to the satisfaction of all.

Sacred burial sites are always sacred, and ignorance of such does not abdicate the responsibility of those in power from the respect and honor due to all who have died.  I urge and implore the Dakota Access Pipeline Corporation to render the respect due to the dead and their ancestors, to cease construction; to open the lines of respectful dialogue, to explore every possible alternative and ultimately to reach a resolution which will be both respectful and reverent of all. I am confident that if people of good will, enter into meaningful dialogue and listen with the heart, the Great Spirit will reveal the best path forward for us all and for Mother Earth.

I offer you, to all the peaceful protesters who stand with you, and to all those who can hear the call of the Gospel mandate of solidarity with the poor and oppressed my faith filled support and my unwavering commitment.  Along with other tremendously courageous faith leaders I pledge my prayer and my voice in bringing to fruition the voice of Prophet Isaiah knowing that we can together become “Repairers of Broken Walls”.

In God’s Abundance and Peace,

Right Reverend Martin K. Shanahan Jr.

II Bishop of the Holy Cross Old Catholic Diocese of Minnesota