US Catholics horrified at Charleston church shootings

The killing of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, has horrified US Catholics.

On June 17, a gunman shot and killed nine people, including the pastor, during a Bible study class at the historic black church.

Dylann Roof, 21, was later charged with nine counts of murder and one count of possession of a firearm.

The charges came hours after he confessed to carrying out the attack.

Investigators say Roof told them he wanted the shootings to spark a race war in the US.

On June 18, Charleston Catholic Bishop Robert Guglielmone said the inside of a church is a sanctuary.

“When a person enters, he or she has the right to worship, pray and learn in a safe and secure environment,” Bishop Guglielmone said.

“For anyone to murder nine individuals is upsetting, but to kill them inside of a church during a Bible study class is devastating to any faith community.”

Bishop Guglielmone offered his deepest sympathies on behalf of all Catholics in South Carolina to the families of the victims and the church members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“I pray that everyone affected by this horror will feel the comforting presence of our Lord surrounding them during this difficult time.”

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh tweeted: “We pray for those killed in the violent church shooting in Charleston. We also pray for their families and all those who mourn their death.”

New York pastor Fr Gerald E. Murray said the shootings appeared to have a diabolical inspiration.

Fr Murray told Newsmax: “The church is the house of God and the reverend was preaching the word of God and then he is murdered along with eight other people in his church.”

“This is a sign of where the world goes when someone rejects God and gives into diabolical evil,” he explained.

“It’s horrendous, unthinkable.”

When Roof was charged, members of some of the victims’ families said they forgave him and urged him to repent.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,