The tragic events of Orlando are a horrific reminder of the power of hatred and violence.  Unaware as we still are of the motives behind the murderous rampage, the targeting of members of the LGBT community is a wound on our society.

While our first reaction is to lash out with the same degree of hostility, we hear the words of the Lord, calling us to repay even hatred with love.  We cannot become the evil that we detest.

The call within our nation to consider as suspect entire populations of citizens, immigrants or visitors is contrary to what is best in the American people.  We cannot relive the prejudices of the past, nor conjure up new ones in this century. Violence will only beget more violence.  The cycle must be broken.

We join with all who are committed to the common good, rooted in the values of justice, love, peace and tolerance, as we pray for those who lost their lives or their loved ones and who live now in fear because of acts of violence.