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Pope on July 4 shooting: Grace can convert hearts to respect life

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Getty Images via AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/05/22

The Holy Father sends his spiritual support to all through the cardinal-archbishop of Chicago.

Pope Francis reacted to the July 4 shooting outside Chicago with a message sent by his Secretary of State to Cardinal Blase Cupich, the local archbishop.

The Holy Father’s message had a tone of hope, as he expressed “unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts.”

Here is the message:

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the senseless shooting that took place in Highland Park and he asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to all affected by this attack.

His Holiness joins the entire community in praying that Almighty God will grant eternal rest to the dead, and healing and consolation to the injured and bereaved.

With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to “depart from evil and do good” (Psalm 34:14), Pope Francis prays that every member of society will reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages.

As a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord, the Holy Father sends his blessing.

See the Pope’s response to the Uvalde massacre below:

Cardinal Cupich’s message

Cardinal Cupich released a message before the suspect had been apprehended.

While firstly calling for prayer, he also spoke about gun rights in the United States.

The parade reportedly had a heavy presence of police and fire vehicles, yet this shooter was able to wound at least two dozen people before he stopped, or was stopped, and fled. Victims ranged in age from 8 to 85. Weapons designed to rapidly destroy human bodies have no place in civil society.

It is barely July, and this year the United States is already experiencing more than one mass shooting a day. Chicago Police reported at least 55 shot and 7 killed since Friday, and the holiday weekend is not yet over. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for U.S. children.

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