PHOENIX — We are stunned and heartbroken over the tragically violent events that occurred in Dallas Thursday night, and we implore the Arizona community to join us in praying for those law enforcement officers whose lives were lost, for the police officers and civilians who were injured, and for the two men killed earlier in the week in officer-related shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
We offer our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those impacted by these and all acts of violence in our communities. We deplore the taking of any human life, and are praying for the repose of their souls, as well as for peace and civil dialogue.
We pray for God to reveal His abundant mercy to everyone affected. May God continue to bless our law enforcement officers and first responders.
USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, issued the following statement:
Let Us Gather at the Cross
The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil. To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus. Our Savior suffered at the hands of humanity’s worst impulses, but He did not lose hope in us or in His heavenly father. Love overcomes evil.
The police are not a faceless enemy. They are sons and daughters offering their lives to protect their brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us, “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (JN 15:13). So too, the suspects in crimes or routine traffic stops are not just a faceless threat. They are members of our family in need of assistance, protection and fairness. When compassion does not drive our response to the suffering of either, we have failed one another.
The need to place ever greater value on the life and dignity of all persons, regardless of their station in life, calls us to a moment of national reflection. In the days ahead, we will look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence.
Let us pray for the comfort of everyone affected and that our national conversation will bear the good fruit of healing and peace.