A Response from the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago to the Shootings in Orlando:

We, the members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, add our own voices of lament and outrage to the cry rising up across our nation for peace, justice and healing in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. We remember with gratitude and bitter sorrow the victims of this wanton act of violence. We pray for comfort and hope for the families and friends of those killed and wounded. We lift our open hands in an appeal for non-violence, for calm, compassionate, and reasoned public speech, and for restraint in our all-too-human tendency to generalize blame or to falsely attribute responsibility for this senseless and reprehensible deed. In a time when religious difference is often used as an excuse for hateful, cruel or violent behavior, our council continues to live as a witness to the power of honest, respectful, relational engagement between broadly diverse faith traditions. We stand in clear and vehement opposition to all who exploit fear, grief, and confusion by holding groups or categories of people responsible for individual choices. And we call upon all citizens of our region to respond to this atrocity with a renewed commitment to affirm life and to build bridges of understanding and reconciliation, so that the power of love might shine upon the waste of our wraths and bring peace in our lives, peace in our homes, peace in our neighborhoods, peace in our nation, and peace in the world.

Bishop Wayne N. Miller, President