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US Bishops condemn racist shooting in Buffalo

Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, is seen on May 15, 2022, after a fatal shooting. (Photo supplied)

The United States Catholic Bishops spoke out against a fatal shooting in Buffalo, New York, on May 14.

When the bishops learned that a fatal shooting had likely been motivated by racism, they were distressed and spoke out against gun violence.

On May 15, officials said a gunman shot and killed one person and wounded five others at a Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, California. 

An 85-year-old grandmother of eight who cared for her husband and a 72-year-old civil rights advocate was killed.

The suspect in that shooting was targeting members of the Taiwanese community in Orange County.

Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, said, "Faith compels us to say no to the rotten forces of racism, no to terror, and no to the mortal silencing of black and brown voices."

Bishop Mark E. Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, also spoke out against what has been called violence and racism-based violence.

Shortly after the attack in Buffalo, he wrote, "This is not the first such attack on African Americans."

"Africans have been killed on account of their race for millennia," said Bishop Brennan. "From crossing the ocean on slave ships to being brutally treated by enslavers to the recent murders of unarmed African Americans by police and civilians, even in their churches."

“When and how will racism cease?” asked Bishop Brennan.

After both events, Chieko Noguchi, director of public affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said that the bishops have called for an open conversation "to fight the persistent evil of racism in our country."

Catholics continue to fight for a fair way to regulate dangerous weapons, and the USCCB is dedicated to making sure that everyone's life is respected and valued. 

Payton S. Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, has been charged with first-degree murder and remains in custody without bail, the Erie County District Attorney said in a statement. 

Earlier reports said Gendron was wearing tactical gear and carrying an assault weapon when he entered the supermarket at around 2:30 in the afternoon.
People say that his blog talked about conspiracy theories, such as the idea that some groups are trying to eliminate white people in America and replace them with people of color.

The police have reportedly pointed to a 180-page document that the suspect is said to have left behind. 

It is said to be full of racist views and information about how he planned to attack. 

Bishop Michael W. Fisher of Buffalo said that senseless gun violence must end because it has taken the lives of so many in our nation and has changed the lives of many. - Anbu Selvam


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