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Response to the Massacre in Buffalo, NY from U.S. Bishops and NBCC Affiliated Organizations

Bishops express sorrow, condemn racially motivated shooting in Buffalo

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Mourners in Buffalo, N.Y., react May 15, 2022, while attending a vigil for victims of the shooting the day before at a TOPS supermarket. Authorities say the mass shooting that left 10 people dead was racially motivated. (CNS photo/Brendan McDermid, Reuters)

By Rhina Guidos | Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Several U.S. Catholic bishops expressed sorrow and called out racism and gun violence after reports of a May 14 mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that left at least three injured and 10 dead — a crime authorities categorized as likely motivated by hatred for Black people.

“Faith compels us to say no to the rotten forces of racism, no to terror, and no to the mortal silencing of Black and brown voices,” Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, said May 15 in one of the most powerful statements condemning the violence that took place when a gunman opened fire on a Saturday afternoon at the New York supermarket. READ MORE


(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Statement from Most Rev. Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

President of the National Black Catholic Congress

The loss of lives to acts of violence is never acceptable or easily understood. Further, when we learn that violent acts such as the planned attack against the innocent victims in Buffalo comes as the result of racial hatred, it completely defies understanding.

The National Black Catholic Congress sends our prayers and condolences to the families of the ten people lost that day, and we pray for healing for the three who were injured. For those who witnessed the horrific event and those called to respond to the emergency, we pray that God fills them with His abundant peace.

The disease of racism, and the hatred it spawns, has taken many lives, and it continues to bring devastation to countless families. I offer a prayer for the end to racism in all its evil forms, and pray for healing for our country and that we see, with the compassion of Jesus, when we look at those around us.


A National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) Statement on the May 15th tragedy in Buffalo, NY


During her recent confirmation hearing, Supreme Court Justice candidate Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked “if babies are racist.” Her response should have been “no but they can grow up to be racist.”  

Last Saturday, May 15, 2022, the vile specter of racism – which divides and injures the human family by ignoring the truth that we are all created equally in the image of God -- again revealed its ugly face.  A young man, only 18 years old, drove 200 miles to Buffalo, NY, intending in his heart to kill people based solely on the color of their skin. We pray for his conversion of heart, and for the souls of all of those affected by his senseless actions in Buffalo.  But we also call all people of good will to action. 

Racism is not something a child inherits – it is something a child is taught. An African proverb says: “it takes a village to raise a child.” Essentially, we are ALL responsible for developing a child into a productive member of society. That is the positive hope.


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Statement Regarding Mass Murder in Buffalo

As the National Black Sisters' Conference we stand in solidarity and in grief with the families of the deceased; the good citizens of Buffalo, and people of good will around the world, who are grieving this senseless taking of innocent life in the name of white supremacy.

We are outraged and saddened by this irrational act of violence, which has caused untold suffering and loss for our nation andthe loved ones of the deceased.

We speak their names that wemight honor and never forget them.


Aaron Sutter, 55; Pearly Young, 77; Celeste Chaney, 65; Ruth Whitfield, 86; Deacon Heyward Paterson, 67; Katherine Massey, 72; Roberta Drary, 32; Margus Morrison, 52; Andre Mackneil, 53; and Geraldine Talley, 62.



The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary


10 lives forever lost. 13 families forever changed.

This past week in Buffalo, New York 10 lives were taken and 3 additional people shot, by a person engulfed by the evil spirit of racism and hatred.

We pray for all victims and survivors impacted by the sin of racism. We must even pray that those entrapped by this sinful nature, be released from its oppressing hand. On today, we especially lift in prayer the families and friends of our 10 departed brothers and sisters. We pray that God’s limitless hand will bring much-needed comfort, protection, and love as they face understandably challenging and difficult days. We pray for the strength and speedy recoveries of the 3 injured survivors.


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Most Rev. John H. Ricard, Superior General of the Josephites

Message from the Superior General of the Josephites

Once again we find ourselves trapped in unnecessary and unwarranted mourning.

Our collective prayers are lifted for consolation for families and friends of persons who were victims of senseless racist violence. This time in Buffalo NY.

These poor victims were guilty of being African American and having the audacity to shop at a grocery store in the middle of the day.

We continue to condemn violence, white supremacy and hatred repeatedly and like other episodes, we are growing numb and weary with our seemingly daily grief.

The Josephites stand with the families and all those who seek justice for them and for all of God’s children. The senseless hatred, systemic and personal racist behavior must stop.

Violence on any level mocks God and His Divine goodness as the Creator of something and somebody good.

Let us turn our collective prayers to collective action so that no child of God has to fear bigotry, oppression, death or violence again. 

Statement of the USCCB

Address to Lay Men and Women of the Archdiocese of Baltimore

By His Eminence, Robert Cardinal Sarah

On the occasion of the Closing of the 200th Anniversary of the Baltimore Basilica


God or Nothing

It is an honor for me to address you after the beautiful celebration earlier today marking the close of the 200th anniversary year of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was asked to speak on a number of topics from my book "God or Nothing." I will structure my talk with a brief anecdote contained in my book.

When I was in the seminary, we seminarians were required to have what were called the “3 H’s”: holiness, head knowledge, and health. Unfortunately, I did not have any of them. But by the grace of God, I have made it all the way to where I stand before you today. My health especially almost caused my expulsion from seminary. Thankfully, my Father Superior had me tested by specialists, and, after treatment, I was able to recover my strength and catch up on my studies in subsequent years.

I would like to speak to you today about the three H’s. I shall not speak about physical health. But I will address a certain aspect of spiritual health: our fidelity and our enthusiasm in our vocations as disciples of Jesus Christ. By addressing these topics – our formation, or “head knowledge,” our pursuit of holiness, and the health of our vocations – I hope to encourage you in the specific vocation that the Lord has called you to and through which we imitate Him as His disciples.

Read Cardinal Sarah's Entire Address

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In Search Of...

Copies of the African American Catholic Youth Bible

Valerie Jennings from the Archdiocese of Chicago is looking for 4 copies of the African American Catholic Youth Bible to purchase for Confirmation candidates.

Please contact Valerie if you have any that you are willing to share with her.

E-mail Valerie Jennings:

The National Black Catholic Congress inc.

 320 Cathedral St.,

Baltimore MD 21201


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