Catholic leaders call for reduction in gun violence

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Two former U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican and two retired officials of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were among more than 60 Catholic leaders urging members of Congress who consider themselves pro-life to “show greater moral leadership and political courage” in acting to cut U.S. gun violence.

“We join our bishops, the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA in calling for common-sense reforms to address the epidemic of gun violence in our nation,” said the statement, made public by Faith in Public Life, a Washington-based advocacy group, on Jan. 23, two days before the annual March for Life in Washington.

“Pro-life citizens and elected officials have a responsibility to show greater moral leadership and political courage when it comes to confronting threats to the sanctity of life posed by easy access to military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” the statement said. “Members of Congress who take pride in their pro-life stance and appeal to family values have no excuse for inaction, and neither do any of us who share a firm commitment to these values.”

The former ambassadors who signed the statement were Miguel Diaz, who served under President Barack Obama, and Thomas Melady, who served under President George H.W. Bush. The former USCCB officials who signed were Francis X. Doyle, a former associate general secretary, and Timothy Collins, former director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The statement named four Catholics—two Democrats and two Republicans—who call themselves pro-life but get “A” grades for their votes on firearms issues.

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