Statement of the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA On School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Звернення Собору Єпископів УПЦ США Щодо Масового Розстрілу в Шкільному Закладі Штату Техас
Beloved in the Lord: CHRIST IS RISEN!
As we journey through the sacred time of Paschal joy and receive the salvific assurance of our own resurrection; our human expressions and sentiments fail to describe the shock and pain that most recent mass shooting has inflicted on the community of Uvalde, Texas, taking the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
Just a few days ago, we all were shocked by the reality of shootings in Buffalo, New York and Laguna Woods, California. The epidemic of violence and hate in our society becomes unfathomable. Just as we thought that no one could make sense of another mass shooting in our society; these days we face a scene of slaughter at an elementary school in Texas.
On behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, we offer our heartfelt prayers to God for an outpouring of our Lord’s consolation and healing of those who lost their loved ones. We stand in unity and embrace the people of Uvalde, TX, the survivors, the families and friends of those who unjustly lost their lives.
As Ukrainian Orthodox Christians we unfortunately know all too well the heavy toll inflicted by violence as the war in Ukraine slaughters innocent lives of men, women and children. We call on our elected officials and community leaders of the United States of America to do everything possible to stop the violence and to introduce restrictive measures that will ensure safety of all people in our country.
Even more important than these efforts is the need for the life-changing message of the Gospel Truth to be actively proclaimed in our society, especially in the time of this tragedy. Mass shootings like this are a devastating reminder of just how broken our world is. May our efforts of prayer and solidarity help move people to action leading to meaningful changes that promote safety and encourage the building up of a culture of life.
As Orthodox Christians we must take the mission of bringing Christ to others seriously. May His peace and healing descend upon the people of Uvalde, TX; Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA and on all those who have lost someone in these senseless and evil attacks.
We ask our clergy and faithful to pray for the repose of the souls of the lost in a Memorial Service – Panakhyda following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, 29 May, and also to pray for their surviving family members, fellow students and teachers during the Litany of Fervent Supplication of the Divine Liturgy.
In our Lord’s all-encompassing Love,
By the Grace of God, Metropolitan
By the Grace of God, Archbishop
Given this 26th day of May in the year of our Lord 2022