With violent crime rising in a number of U.S. cities, Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich is urging Catholics to consider how they might contribute to a more just and peaceful society, in part by listening deeply to people with experiences different from their own.
“The comfort of normalcy we had hoped for is being spoiled by a menacing violence that threatens all of us,” Cardinal Cupich wrote in his July 9 letter. “Understandably, we want this horrifying situation resolved without delay.”
Cardinal Cupich, who has repeatedly called on Catholics to support tighter gun laws, noted the many calls from civic and government leaders for more effective policing, criminal justice reform, slowing the flood of illegal guns, reducing gang violence, investing in neighbourhoods, providing resources for education and support for families. As a spiritual leader, the cardinal wrote, he sees a deeper crisis in which human beings express an unwillingness “to comprehend that we are inextricably connected with each other.”
Invoking Pope Francis’ 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti Cardinal Cupich wrote in his letter, “If we lose that sense of interconnectedness, we also lose our sense of compassion, empathy and responsibility for each other. And that counts as an incalculable spiritual loss, with profound consequences for how we live together as neighbours, as members of the same human family.”
“If we, the people of God, are to remain faithful to our identity and our calling, we must respond to the challenge to human solidarity that violence has provoked,” he wrote.
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Michael J. O’Loughlin is the national correspondent for America and host of the America podcast “Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church.”
With thanks to America Magazine and Michael J. O’Loughlin, where this article originally appeared.