- Mar 2, 2021
Jonathan Reyes said the event — “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” July 1-4 in Orlando — will be a sign of unity for the church because it will bring diverse groups together to discuss and share not only their challenges but more importantly, their ideas, resources and tools for moving forward.
“Throughout the whole lesbian and gay community, particularly touched by the heinous crimes committed in Orlando, motivated by hate, driven perhaps by mental instability and certainly empowered by a culture of violence, know this: the Archdiocese of Chicago stands with you. I stand with you,” Archbishop Blase Cupich said.
Chicago’s Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach began in 1988 as a way to extend the church’s pastoral outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics throughout the archdiocese. Recently, it organized a memorial for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
An Orlando priest who ministered to the mothers of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting said he told them, “There’s a mother who understands their pain, who at an early age lost her son. That was Mary… I brought them to the cross, (and told them) Mary understands them as a mother.”
On the airwaves, on social media, in our political discourse is an assumption that traditional Christian teaching about men, women, and human sexuality, of the kind the Catholic Church proposes, creates a culture where such violence is encouraged. The result may be to shut down players who could transform the current misery and curtail some of the bloodshed.
In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, Catholic officials from three dioceses affected by earlier mass shootings reflected on what they learned, emphasizing how accompanying people and bringing Christ’s love to them amidst their suffering, uniting with people in prayer, had helped bring healing.