Finding Hope in An Abyss of Evil

I know I’m not the only one feeling like my heart has been ripped out today (and I’m not even a parent).

The horrific mass shooting of young children in Newtown, Connecticut is truly evil. There’s no other way to describe it.

20 children, ages 5-10, murdered. 6 adults murdered. A seventh adult murdered at a second crime scene. A dead shooter at the scene. No answers or possible justification.

When faced with something so evil, the words delivered by Pope Benedict on his visit to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz come to mind:

“In the face of the horror of Auschwitz there is no other response than the Cross of Christ: Love descended to the very depths of the abyss of evil to save man in his core.”

May we reflect on this truth today as we pray for the victims of the Connecticut school shooting and beg Christ to intercede for them at the throne of mercy!

I want to thank the CatholicVote community who has already been pouring out prayers for the victims and their families.

But I also must condemn the groups and individuals who have chosen to instantly exploit this tragedy by calling for legal action and legislation before we have barely had time to process and mourn what has happened.

There is even a “Catholic” group that shall remain nameless that is urging people to go right now to the White House to demand gun violence prevention.

The only appropriate place to be at a time like this is with our loved ones, on our knees, praying, preferably in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

I want to commend President Obama and his administration, and all the public officials I’ve seen address the tragedy, who have refused to politicize and exploit it.

Evil is far bigger than politics. Our only salvation and comfort today is in the mercy of God.

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37 thoughts on “Finding Hope in An Abyss of Evil

  1. Most of the 70 million guns in America, are not used for either defense or security, or even crime. They are toys. Very dangerous toys when irresponsible owners let them fall into the wrong hands. But they are toys. If gun owners can’t behave like responsible adults, then their toys need to be taken from them.

    1. abadilla says:

      No Alpha, they are not “toys” If there were, we would not have 28 people dead today.

      Also, you stated, “They are toys. Very dangerous toys when irresponsible owners let them fall into the wrong hands. But they are toys. If gun owners can’t behave like responsible adults, then their toys need to be taken from them.”
      The Second Amendment is not there for you and others to tamper with it. It is a constitutional right we all have in this country and it has been back up by the Supreme Court, nor is the possession of guns a violation of Catholic principles, Don’t use this tragedy to try to take away from decent citizens the only means we have to defend ourselves.

      1. The second amendment is not holy law – Moses did not descend any mountain with a tablet inscribe with “you have the inalienable god given right to bear arms”. I live in Ireland (until I can get out of here). In Ireland the gun regulations are such; if you are in a town or city, it’s difficult to own a gun – hunting or otherwise. If you are in the countryside, and you own a gun, and you are going through something like a messy divorce, the garda (the police) will come to your house and ask you to hand over your gun to them until it’s over. In Ireland, someone like Nancy Lanza would never have been allowed to keep a gun.

        1. abadilla says:

          Thank you for the information. After 63 years of existence on this planet and living in this country since 1965 I just discovered the Second Amendment is not holy law.
          If you would like to amend the constitution so the government can disarm the population of this country, be my guest, but it is the Constitution and adherence to it that keeps the whim of government from doing whatever it pleases to us. China has a Constitution, so does North Korea and Cuba, but those constitutions are meaningless because the dictatorships of those countries could care less about their constitutions. This is not the case here. That’s why we call this country a country of the rule of law, and that’s why when any government wants to do as it pleases, a Supreme Court decides what is constitutional and what is not. Now, is it a perfect situation for all concerned? Of course not, but that is what we have. Today a brand new poll came out that states the vast majority of Americans, nearly 89% do not see the possession of arms as a problem. I dare say that if that principal and those teachers had been armed, that criminal could not have done what he did. They lost their lives precisely because they had NOTHING to defend themselves with and the criminal knew it.
          As for Ireland, I’m always amused by Americans pointing to a bankrupt continent, morally, spiritually and economically, we are all supposed to imitate.
          Nancy Lanza was able to keep arms because she did not live in Ireland, she lived in the United States and we are different and don’t have to apologize for who we are.
          BTW, the Obama Administration can talk to me about banning arms when they explain to this country what happened with fast and furious!
          Make no mistake Alpha, when this administration says we must have a “conversation” on this issue, they mean “ignore” the Second Amendment. I for one will fight them tooth and nail on this one. I don’t possess a gun but I will join the NRA just to fight the government on this one as I’m fighting them on the HH Mandate.

  2. The problem of pro-life americans is that they are tottaly incoherent .

    How can someone be a pro-life and be at the same time pro-liberty of buying guns ?

    How can someone be a pro-life and be against International Treaties for Environment protection ?

    How can someone be a pro-life and be pro-war in places like Afganistan or Irak or agains the Palistinian rigths for independence ?

    1. abadilla says:

      May I try to answer your questions?

      “How can someone be a pro-life and be at the same time pro-liberty of buying guns ?”

      Simple. One can be pro-life and at the same time believe in self-defense. I live in a pretty safe city so I don’t have a gun, but I’m not about to take the right of any American citizen to have a gun in a part of town where he might need it to defend himself or herself. Last time I checked, our Church still believes in self-defense.

      “How can someone be a pro-life and be against International Treaties for Environment protection ?”

      Environmental protection is important but not at an equal level as the defense of the innocent unborn child. It all depends on “who” or “what” are writing these environmental protection treaties? Many politicize that which should not be politicized.

      “How can someone be a pro-life and be pro-war in places like Afganistan or Irak or agains the Palistinian rigths for independence?”
      Simple. I don’t believe that being pro-life is the same thing as playing doormat when we need to protect against terrorists bent on killing us, and as for the rights of Palestinians, I don’t see a problem with that as long as they understand that they can’t harbor terrorists like Hamas launching missiles at Israel against innocent civilians and not expect the Israelites to defend themselves.
      The Jewish people had no arms in 1939 and an evil regime butchered them. The Armenians had no arms to defend themselves and in 1915 the Turkish government butchered them. In 1975 the Cambodians had no arms and the K Rouge butchered them. Today the North Koreans have no arms and they live in slavery under an evil regime that will not permit them freedom nor food. The same can be said for the Chinese people and the Cuban people have been disarmed since 1958 and their well-armed government does with them as they please. Is that what you would like for the United States of America?
      I believe the Church was pro-life in 1939 but many Catholics fought to destroy an evil man, Hitler, and I don’t think that contradicted being pro-life.
      Now Miguel, can we go back to discussing the butchery of 26 innocent people, including children?

      1. Hitler was a Catholic. His mission was to kill to Jews in self-defense as he believed they were out to destroy Germany.

        In Weimar Germany, abortion was allowed in the instance the woman’s life was in grave danger. When Hitler came to power he outlawed abortion, even going as far as having abortion punished with the death penalty.

        Abadilla, I would put money on it, that you are not a religious person at all. That you do not attend regular religious services, and the fundamental principles of Christianity are anathema to you.

        1. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

          If your colorful handle indicates what you consider to be your raison d’etre, which seems to translate into something like “in order to live, Satan first,” then there won’t be common ground between you and the other folks who post here. But three observations.
          1. We all know that Catholicism did not inform the choices that Hitler made.

          2. Your gratuitous swipe at Abadilla, who is well known here as a practicing Catholic, is unjust.
          3. The vast majority of those who post here do not wish to return to the days of uncharitable remarks on this Blog. We prefer meaningful discussion and not personal attacks.

          1. Grisha357 says:

            Dear Msgr Mangan: You write:”The vast majority of those who post here do not wish to return to the days of uncharitable remarks on this Blog. We prefer meaningful discussion and not personal attacks.” To that I can only say AMEN! ~ Greg Smith

          2. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. Thank you, Greg. Having read your comments over the months, I know that you much prefer reasoned discussion.

          3. abadilla says:

            “Your gratuitous swipe at Abadilla, who is well known here as a practicing Catholic, is unjust.”
            Thank you Monsignor.

          4. My handle is actually an anagram, if you like puzzles. Recently deceased – contentious death.

            In orthodox Catholicism, anti-semitism is a calumny. In the folk Catholicism Hitler was exposed to as a child, anti-semitism was virulent and strong. Hitler was religious. He finished every speech with the word Amen. And often stated he was doing the work of the lord.He attempted to establish a national church of Germany – something like the Church of England, with of course, the Fuhrer as the head of this Church.

            And Monseigneur, I’m sure in your time you’ve met the odd anti-semite in a collar. And it is that precise perversion that led to the Holocaust.

            Hitler was a Cultural Catholic – like Anders Breivik claims to be a Cultural Christian. These people do believe in a higher power (some evil pagan god), they lay claim to Christianity though absolutely reject all tenets of the faith – they’re not regular church people either. In the long distant past, Christianity syncretised small elements of folk religions, now the pagans have turned the tables – They have syncretised Christianity. Their intention is to corrupt it from within and turn it into a Satanic inversion of itself.

            These pagans are easy to spot. They claim to be Christians, but when they speak, it’s the Gospel of Ayn Rand.

        2. abadilla says:

          Alpha, Hitler was never a Catholic. Yes, he was baptised in the Church and then he chose the life of a pagan and his Aryan Race was the product of a neo-Nazi pagan belief system, not the product of Christianity at all. He was mentally disturbed and so was the guy that just butchered those children.

          “In Weimar Germany, abortion was allowed in the instance the woman’s life was in grave danger. When Hitler came to power he outlawed abortion, even going as far as having abortion punished with the death penalty.”
          Do you not see the irony of this statement? So, he outlawed abortion while he carried on human experimentations on the handicapped and butchered the Jewish population in concentration camps, and gypsies, and homosexuals, and Catholic priests and nuns, and Communists. I presume he did all these dastardly deeds because he was a “Catholic,” right?

          “Abadilla, I would put money on it, that you are not a religious person at all.”
          So, on the basis of an statement you think you know me well enough to make this judgment on me? Is this your way to keep an open dialogue by questioning the faith of those you disagree with? Not only am I a practicing Catholic, but I have been teaching the Catholic faith for 27 years and since 2007 have been teaching a course on the Holocaust, but I guess in your mind I don’t qualify as a good Christian nor as someone who might know “something” about Hitler.
          By the way, I don’t assume immediately by what you have written that somehow you are not a religious person, That would be a knee-jerk reaction on my part.
          “That you do not attend regular religious services, and the fundamental principles of Christianity are anathema to you.”
          Actually you would find me at St. Victor in West Hollywood for the vigil Mass every Saturday at 5:30 p.m. if you must know and one of my favorite books is “The Catechism of the Catholic Church.” It’s a shame we didn’t put money on this one. You would have to buy me dinner.

          1. You are a practicing Catholic. I apologise. It’s just I have had the recent experience of discovering a group of people, who have been posing as conservative Catholics, are actually far right political activists – they are not practicing or religious,

            I would not consider Hitler to have been a Christian. But, where things become come a lot more problematic for you (where it’s not just Stalin and Hitler committing mass murder), is when you examine the rule and White Terror of Francisco Franco of Spain. If you invoke Hitler or Stalin as examples in any argument, you can’t just brush Franco under the carpet.

          2. abadilla says:

            Apology taken. It’s just that far too many people on this forum have made the same accusation and as you can imagine, I’m a bit sensitive to it.
            Alpha, the problem with “coservative” labels is that anyone who is a Catholic and upholds all the teachings of the Church today can indeed be labeled a “conservative” when, in effect, those Catholics are just that, Catholics.
            Francisco Franco is a good example of someone who saw himself as a Catholic but most people in Spain today would say his actions were not the actions of a Catholic, yet I found something curious about the man, he protected the Jews against Hilter even though he did like Hitler. Go figure!

          3. Franco was spectacularly evil. His claim to have protected the Jews in Spain, is a small example of that evil. It’s not true. Documents have surfaced in recent years that at the request of the Germans he was preparing to deport all Spanish Jews (including conversos) into the hands of the Germans. It didn’t happen more because of timing than anything else – he did deport thousands of non Jewish Spaniards to work in German forced labour camps. Spain was nominally neutral during the second world war, but in reality they were closely aligned with Germany. Spain really should have been invaded and occupied like Germany and Italy – this would have spared millions of Spanish people the madness – for the first 15 years after the end of the war, Franco ran Spain like Stalin ran the Soviet Union (maybe even worse). In that period it’s possible that over a million people died because of his rule. Franco used the Catholic Church for his political ends – but there was a problem in the Catholic Church being highly politicized before the war. This resulted in thousands of priest being massacred by the republican side – but this distorts the story – Franco also shot hundreds of priests for political reasons. Had Karl Marx not have been an atheist. Lenin and Stalin would have politicized the Russian Orthodox Church. Franco was more successful. It’s very murky, but the myth of Franco the Catholic hero is one of the greatest travesties of all time.

      2. Dear Abadilla

        May I disagree of you

        first) I don’t need to have a gun since there should be a place where you have police around and this police presence should be enough. The problem is that in many places you don’t try to fight poverty and social exclusion, you simply give a gun to someone to protect yourself against these people.

        Again, for me, it is impossible to be a catholic, to be a pro-life and at the same time to be a pro-gun activist.

        second) We all know that the US don’t support Environmental protection Treaties simply because of the big companies lobby. First money, then environment when an intelligent approach would be more money with better environment, but being against the big US compaigns that offer money to the presidential companies isn’t very good politics. Isn’t it ?

        third) As catholics we know that is it moral to have fair wars, In my country, Portugal, one of our saints St. Nuno of Santa Maria was a big warrior who killed many people. However, we all know what is behind the US activity in countries like Irak or Kuwait some years ago. It’s all about oil.

        I must say that I’m very fond on former governor Bill Ritter’s position on these. He is catholic, pro-life must against all these other things

        And I think that the article of Thomas Friedman in the NYT says some things that should republican pro-lifes thing better on what are they fighting for.
        Pro-life yes 100%, but pro-life in all issues, not only in abortion issues.
        Regards
        Miguel

        1. abadilla says:

          Hi. Miguel, first) “I don’t need to have a gun since there should be a place where you have police around and this police presence should be enough” Correct, and that is my particular situation. I used to live in East Los Angeles for two years and there, I definitely needed a gun. I didn’t get one, because I didn’t know how to use it properly. “The problem is that in many places you don’t try to fight poverty and social exclusion, you simply give a gun to someone to protect yourself against these people.” When you say “you” do you mean me?
          “Again, for me, it is impossible to be a catholic, to be a pro-life and at the same time to be a pro-gun activist.” And I respect that. All I ask is that you respect the fact that there are Catholics in the military in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Pakistan. There are also Catholic chaplains in the military, and that the Church while advocating peace, definitely believes in self-defense. If an armed man barges into my home at 3:00 a.m. in the morning and means to hurt my family and I, do I have a moral obligation to defend myself and my family? What would our Catholic Church say about this scenario? If our Church were totally pacifist, would it not tell all of our Catholic members in the military not to enlist in the military? If our Church did not believe in self-defense, would it not tell our soldiers it is “always” wrong to kill, no matter what?

          “second) We all know that the US don’t support Environmental protection Treaties simply because of the big companies lobby.” No Miguel, we don’t all know that. I would need objective data to believe this.
          “…but being against the big US compaigns that offer money to the presidential companies isn’t very good politics. Isn’t it ?”

          I think you meant “campaings” but be that as it may, I’m trying to figure out what this has to do with the subject. I have never met a pro-lifer who told me he was happy ruining the environment.

          “third) As catholics we know that is it moral to have fair wars,”

          O.K., on this one we agree.

          “In my country, Portugal, one of our saints St. Nuno of Santa Maria was a big warrior who killed many people. However, we all know what is behind the US activity in countries like Irak or Kuwait some years ago. It’s all about oil.” Again, you assume we “all” know, but no, not everyone knows and of those who know, not everyone agrees it is for oil only. I’m not willing to say that every President of the United States, Democrat or Republican was so evil they allowed thousands of American young soldiers to die just for oil. Also, we talk about “oil” as if it were a bad word when, in fact, it moves millions of people in this country and in the entire West. Did St. Nuno kill people in self-defense or because he was just a war monger?

          “I must say that I’m very fond on former governor Bill Ritter’s position on these. He is catholic, pro-life must against all these other things.” And I respect that, although I hope he realizes the Catholic position on this matter admits of prudential judgments and the Catholic view is more complicated than we would like it to be.

          1. Abadilla

            I think the problem of security mainly in the bigs cities of US should be taken care like in Brasil they are doing it: Army in the “favelas” and social programs of help and integration to minorities and the poor.

            I don’t meant to say you specifically but you americans, and specially republicans.

            There are things in which the State shouldn’t be involved like freedom of speach, freedom of religious liberty or freedom of education, but one of the basic foundation of the “Rule of Law” is that no one should need to get a gun to protect his life or his house. If this happens so, this means the State and security and social public services are failling.

            I also think this NYT (even though we know the purpose and background of this newspaper) article raises several issues that the traditional pro-life should think about, not over his pro-life and anti-abortion position which is fine, but the coherency of its position about other important issues.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/opinion/sunday/friedman-why-i-am-pro-life.html?_r=0

            P.S.- St. Nuno killed for self-defense and also against the spanish army which was obeying the Avignon pope instead of the Rome Pope. He became monk in the end of his life.

            Thank you for the conversation and I invite you to visite our local pro-life blogue http://algarvepelavida.blogspot.pt/

          2. abadilla says:

            There you go, the army in the favelas and with good reason. Crime is high in the favelas and innocent people are the victims of both, poverty and armed gangsters.

            “I don’t meant to say you specifically but you americans, and specially republicans.”

            Well, you are writing to a Republican and as far as Americans are concerned, there are almost 350 million Americans and there is a variety of thinking on the issue.

            “There are things in which the State shouldn’t be involved like freedom of speach, freedom of religious liberty or freedom of education, but one of the basic foundation of the “Rule of Law” is that no one should need to get a gun to protect his life or his house. If this happens so, this means the State and security and social public services are failling.”
            I don’t know of a single civilized society where the State can do it all, especially when it comes to protecting everyone. That’s why the need for individuals to possess guns. In these United States we have the rule of law, freedom of speech, religious liberty which is now being threatened by the present administration, and education, which I don’t believe the government should be involved with. Having guns is part of the second amendment and therefore enshrined in the Constitution of this country. I truly believe that a people who are disarmed by a government, sooner or later won’t be able to defend themselves when that same government turns against its own people.
            Miguel, “The New York Times” is anything but pro-life. It deeply believes in abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, and Christians being force out of the public square. The paper hates the Catholic Church with a passion and just this last week the Cardinal Archbishop of New York criticized it harshly.
            Thank you for the information on St. Nuno. I didn’t know about him. St. Bernard of Clairvaux is also controversial because he was involved with the Crusades and even Fr. Barron, a very respected priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, thinks he was wrong.
            Also, than you for the website link. I will definitely go there, and thank you for having a civilized conversation not always possible on the INTERNET.

          3. “I truly believe that a people who are disarmed by a government, sooner or later won’t be able to defend themselves when that same government turns against its own people”.

            - I don’t think we should suspect from our democratic elected government and suppose that they will turn against its own people, specially in developed societies like in the US.

            I truly believe that the access to weapons must be limited to specific cases related with dangerous jobs like judges, lawyers, inspectors or people living in dangerous places. All of these can be ruled and controled.

            With reasonablenesse a balanced legislation could be achieved for all the US states
            On another hand, we don’t see any major activity nor from Republicans nor from Democrats to decrease criminality in big urban areas.

            As I said in my previous comment I know NYT is anti-catholic newspaper, what I said was that some (not all) contradictions pointed in that opinion article should raise some thinking in pro-life republican partisans.

            I think many republicans like Paul Ryan or Rick Santorum are fantastic pro-life politicians but I’m ashamed with their position in terms of access to weapons, environment politics or even health care programs (I don’t agree with Obama Care either the way he is, but I had a friend that was on holiday in the US and she got sick and since her health insurance attached to the travel agency was limited to certain days on hospital, she had to fight back even though she wasn’t recovered). What kind of life style is this ?

            If I was in the USA, I would have to vote for Republicans due to their almost 100% pro-life position, but on other issues I’m much more near Democratic positions and I think many of this issues Democrats are closer the Church social teaching than Republicans.

            That’s why my idol in terms of US politics is Bill Ritter. Unfortunately, it seems that the Masonry, pro-choice and pro-gays lobbies managed to put him aside..

          4. abadilla says:

            Miguel, I basically do not trust governments nor politicians even though some of them are democratic in nature. The temptation is there to abuse their power. As it is, this country’s population gives the government power and the government is supposed to rule by the “consent” of the people. More and more I see this administration as doing the opposite. I came from Costa Rica, a democratic nation, and more and more the government there is taking over power it does not have and people are too blind to see the danger.
            As far as guns are concerned, I have been doing a lot of research on the matter and finding out that this country has lots of laws on the books regarding guns and they simply need to be implemented. Re-inventing the wheel may make us feel better but it does not solve the problem at hand. I’m a teacher and I believe that if that principal had been armed, she could have shot that young man “before” he was able to butcher all those children and adults. My school does not allow for guns, so we are sitting ducks waiting for a tragedy. In the meantime, we are taking care of bullying because kids who kill, often complain that they were bullied while at school and no one did anything to protect them. I pray to God and Our Lady we will never have to face such an ugly situation.
            I’m glad you know the NYT is anti-Catholic, but it is also very anti-Republican and I don’t look for objectivity in its pages to read about our Church or about conservatives in this country.
            It is true that in major cities throughout this country, both Dems and Reps are not doing enough to prevent crime, but I ask, is that their job? I also ask, who is in power governing the vast majority of American cities, Dems or Reps?
            Don’t be so sure that Dems are more for the poor than Reps. The fact is that in their last political platform they embraced abortion, gay rights, contraceptives, abortion and openly rejected God. We all saw it on T.V., it’s not like someone told us about it. Also, don’t forget it is the Democratic Party supporting this president to push the HH Mandate that hurts us Catholics.

      3. Abadilla
        To discuss the butchery of these inocent people should lead us to 2 issues
        1) It is complete nonsense to have a country in which people don’t trust their police, don’t trust their social programs against poor people, etc and allow any crauzy person to buy guns and start shooting inocent people.
        2) Both in Utoya island and in Newtown, the shooters came from divorced families, in which their father was absent. This should also make many people to think on the bad consequences of divorce

        1. abadilla says:

          “1) It is complete nonsense to have a country in which people don’t trust their police, don’t trust their social programs against poor people, etc and allow any crauzy person to buy guns and start shooting inocent people.”

          It isn’t a matter of not “trusting” the police. I live in a city where one can call them in an emergency and they would be in my home in less than 5 minutes. My younger daughter lives in Los Angeles and it might take an hour for the police to respond to an emergency. The difference between my city and Los Angeles is simple. I live in a small city, and Los Angeles is a big city. As for the social programs out there, with 48 million people on food stamps, I can see why folks would not trust such programs to help the poor. As for crazy people being allowed to buy guns, who would determine who is crazy and who is not to be able to have guns? The fact is, even a healthy person may become depressed, then crazy, and suddenly crazy enough to kill other people, and in a country of more than three hundred million people, it’s hard to know who is crazy and who is not.

          “2) Both in Utoya island and in Newtown, the shooters came from divorced families, in which their father was absent. This should also make many people to think on the bad consequences of divorce.”

          I agree with you, but what do we do with criminals who were not the product of divorce or even the product of s disfunctional family?

          I think both of us agree something has to be done, but I don’t know “exactly” what can be done. One thing is for sure, you and I are debating an issue that will be debated all over this nation regarding guns.

          Then there is that “pesky” issue of free will and we know some people will not use their free will properly or Godly.

          1. It might be nothing to do with guns, broken families, or anything like that, and could be everything to do with television. Television news turns these shooters into global superstars.

            If you want to be John Lennon, learn to sing, learn to play instruments and write songs, work very hard……..If you want to be as famous as John Lennon, shoot him.

          2. abadilla says:

            Alpha, I hear that in Japan and in other counties violent videos are very popular and yet, we don’t see this type of massacres. I don’t know what to believe anymore about this issue.

            “If you want to be as famous as John Lennon, shoot him.”
            O.K. I’m trying to understand your last sentence!

      4. MarkV says:

        abadilla, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi freed an entire nation non-violently. Jesus freed the world non-violently. They were both willing to give their lives to uphold non-violence. Violence begets violence.

        1. abadilla says:

          .Mark V,

          I have always admired Gandhi for what he did and Our Lord did not like violence either, but what He did in the Temple to the people who were profaning the temple, can’t be seen as a non-violent act, and that’s why I believe there are times when non-violence is a noble idea but it does not work in “every” case. I believe that is why the Catholic Church allows for self-defense. I also believe that is why the Catholic Church has not completely shut down the door for the state to have the right to execute a criminal in very strict circumstances.

          “Violence begets violence.”
          I agree, yet the Church allows for violence in very particular circumstances. I used to know this priest in Perú, a wonderful guy who helped the poor and the oppressed. One day a gun man broke into his room and he didn’t fight him because he was a man of peace. Well, my friend priest is dead. I respected and respect his position but in my own life confronted with the same situation, I would defend myself, and that is an issue of prudential judgment as far as the Catholic Church teaches.

  3. whartman4 says:

    The hypocrisy in the midst of this horror is that yes, the President did express his sorrow for the loss of these ‘beautiful little kids.’ All the while he advocates and forces tax-payers to fund the murders of thousands of beautiful little children in their mothers wombs every single day.
    May God have mercy.

    1. abadilla says:

      And today he quoted from the Scriptures again, “Let the children come to me…” but I honestly do not believe he sees the connection between the quote and his position on abortion.

  4. Grisha357 says:

    Dear Thomas – So many, of different faiths are praying right now. As for what these tragedies mean for our country, my cousin’s husband Harry, a Vietnam veteran wrote.

    “The fault, dear Americans, lies not in our guns but in ourselves. We have become a culture in which drawing blood is cheered (“wrestling” or ultimate cage fighting, anyone?), paying a bounty to injure a sports opponent is “just part of the game,” language is so devalued that “killing” is what you do to win a video game, and getting even for a slight or an insult can appropriately include a threat to kill or wound. Time to take a look at what we have become.”

    With all the conversation about changing the culture, we Catholics might want to reflect on what we can do to reduce the fetishization of violence in our country.. Ultimately that will mean addressing public policy issues about firearms. If today, “the day after” isn’t appropriate, then we should ask “when will be?” It’s really an appropriate topic for this forum. – Pax tecum, Greg Smith

    1. MarkV says:

      Grisha357, thanks for the great quote from the Vietnam Veteran. We as a society and as individuals must look for where we were at least partly responsible for this tragedy. When I yell at my child I’m promoting violence. If I spank my child I’m promoting violence. If I purchase video games for my children that promote violence then I’m upholding violence and teaching my children to do the same. If I allow my children to sit and play video games rather than interacting with others then I’m promoting anti-social behavior. I could go on and on. We must bring our children up differently or this cycle of violence will continue.

  5. abadilla says:

    Every time a tragedy of such proportions happens, I always ask the question, was this the product of evil or was it the product of a very disturb mind? If we answer that is is the product of a disturb man, what about personal responsibility for one’s actions? If one says such a tragedy is the product of a possessed man, one can always blame the identity who has taken over a possessed person, but then again, I ask, where is personal responsibility for this action left? I really don’t see any easy answers for this and other horrors. All I know is that all I can do now is pray for the poor families who have lost their children in such a cruel way. Who takes a child to school and never sees him or her alive again? Horrific, just horrific. Words can’t express my sorrow.

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