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Statement from Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin Regarding Recent Mass Shootings

The following is a statement from Cardinal Tobin regarding the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and other communities across the country. You can also read his message on the Archdiocese’s website here. Please share this statement with your communities.

The disciples of Jesus that form the Archdiocese of Newark join our hearts and prayers for the anguished families of Uvalde, Buffalo, and many other communities across this country, including Newark, the city in which I live and love. The slaughter of children and teachers yesterday in Texas, and the surge of violence in communities nationwide, cannot be easily explained but must not be dismissed as a perverse “new normal.”

Cynically short-sighted solutions that facilely propose turning schools, grocery stores, and shopping malls into armed camps must be rejected. This nation cannot flourish by permitting the unregulated sale of weapons designed to kill. There is no convincing argument to justify the sale or possession of automatic rifles, oversize magazines, folding stocks, and other weapons that are used in an ever-growing number of massacres.

New laws alone will not change hearts. We need civil conversations around all the forms of violence that are tolerated, even celebrated in our culture. The role of social media, especially its indiscriminate use by young people, needs to be questioned. We adults must examine how our speech and slogans and our resignation and apathy contribute to violent death and the disintegration of our communities.

There is much to do, but for now, let us recognize our connection with the grieving families and plead with God to heal their broken hearts.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.

Archbishop of Newark