We, the members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, are committed to work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in an approach to life free from violence. Our hearts and prayers go out to those family members, friends, and members of the LGBTQ+ community as they grieve the loss of those killed and injured in the Colorado Springs shooting on Saturday, November 19.
As women of the Gospel, we stand in opposition to all forms of exclusion and violence committed against any member of the human family. There can be no tolerance for hate. We pledge ourselves to work for the change of structures and systems that promote messages and actions of violence, particularly those directed towards persons who lack freedom and are denied human dignity. Our faith requires something more of us. We are called to be instruments of peace.
We also pledge to address the root causes of violence within ourselves as we examine our own thinking, words, beliefs, and actions that perpetuate discord in our relationships and our circles of influence. The cycle of violence must be halted with the actions we take to stop hate and initiate healing towards right relationships, particularly with those impacted by the misuse of power.
We again call on our local, state, and federal officials to enact laws that will: require universal background checks for all gun purchases; restrict civilian access to assault weapons and high capacity magazines; make gun trafficking a federal crime; improve access to mental health care and other services for those in need; and fund programs that make available educational materials on the effects of violence and provide opportunities for youth and young adults to end gang violence.
We pray for the courage necessary for each one of us to commit ourselves to refuse silence in the face of the rhetoric leading to violence and to being makers of peace in the face of division and hate.
LCWR is the association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has about 1350 members, who represent approximately 67 percent of the nearly 39,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.