Pope Francis to Chicago’s Archbishop: Non-Violence The Key to Ending ‘Gun Violence’

To Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago

Dear Brother,

Please convey to the people of Chicago that they have been on my mind and in my prayers. I know that many families have lost loved ones to violence. I am close to them, I share in their grief, and pray that they may experience healing and reconciliation through God’s grace.

I assure you of my support for the commitment you and many other local leaders are making to promote nonviolence as a way of life and a path to peace in Chicago. You are marking that effort by inviting people of goodwill to walk for peace on Good Friday in areas afflicted by violence. As I make my own Way of the Cross in Rome that day, I will accompany you in prayer, as well as all those who walk with you and who have suffered violence in the city.

Sadly, as you have told me, people of different ethnic, economic, and social backgrounds suffer discrimination, indifference, injustice, and violence today. We must reject this exclusion and isolation, and not think of any group as “others,” but rather as our own brothers and sisters. This openness of heart and mind must be taught and nurtured in the homes and in schools.

Walking the path of peace is not always easy, but it is the only authentic response to violence. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, humanity “must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love”.

I urge all people, especially young men and women, to respond to Dr. King’s prophetic words and know that a culture of nonviolence is not an unattainable dream, but a path that has produced decisive results. The consistent practice of nonviolence has broken barriers, bound wounds, healed nations—and it can heal Chicago.

I pray that the people of your beautiful city never lose hope, that they work together to become builders of peace, showing future generations the true power of love.

I ask you to pray for me too.

From the Vatican, 4 April 2017

comments

  1. avatar Paul53 says:

    Now there’s a really useful suggestion!

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Shouldn’t this have been dated April 1, 2017?

  2. avatar Joe R. says:

    Infallibility is only enjoyed by the Pope in matters of faith. This would be a stretch, that splits the crotch of Pope pants.

    Non-Violence is the key to bend-over-and-take-it, and the Vatican would be a muslim horde slaughterhouse for the EU if it were not for the U.S.

    Preach peace and non-violence BY DEMANDING ‘PEACE’ AND NON-VIOLENCE.

    Vengence is mine sayeth THE LORD, and we will leave it out. This is a slow-cooker war (at times literally, and they started it, so it is a war-answered).

      1. avatar Tietonian says:

        Traditionally, as far I can remember, only a few of the angels are ever depicted as armed. E. g., Michael, as the leader of the heavenly hosts is almost always armed and armored, but Gabriel, the messenger is not.

        1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          The angel of death definitely Smites a shit ton of people in the Old Testament.

  3. avatar Roymond says:

    On a societal level, he has a point.

    On an individual level, when someone is already pointing a gun at you, not so much.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      On his hat he has a point.
      On top of the St. Peter’s Basilica, is where he’d be waiting for the extraction by OSPREY (so that he knew it was the Good Guys) while he threw his purple slippers at the muslim horde below trying to burn him out. ‘Peace’ takes armed folks willing and eager to do harm to those that might harm him.

      “We cannot be permanently divisible, due to the finite nature of our universe, nor can we avoid, even together, the permanent pressure of our shared environment that is our temporal universe. Thereby, focus on unsustainable conflict removes the necessary focus on individual sustainment from the environment. Focus on individual sustainment quickly returns to unsustainable conflict.
      Beyond that there is war.

      But Peace.

      I know of only one.

      My LORD GOD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST offered HIS. HE has asked me [us] to share in it and I hope to. However, I will not allow its presence, or my pursuit of it, to gain any more than mutual advantage over me. Paradoxically, my Christianity instills in me a singular maxim that, in-fact, precludes the need for any other, and that maxim is “Seek first the Kingdom of GOD”. My Christianity requires other people as much as that of any societal agreement, however it requires mutual participation less than that of societal agreements to the endgame of eradication by those not embracing its (Christianity’s) fundamental beliefs.
      Thereby, the ferocity with which I abandon my Christianity in the protection of societal agreement compounds itself out of indignation and fear of potential eternal consequence. So too, the ferocity with which I abandon [a] societal agreement will be compounded by the intense displeasure at how it requires me to abandon my Christianity and therefore, risk the hereafter.

      Any other “peace;” ANY OTHER, I hereby relegate to the rank and role of worthless human notions emoted by the pursuit of false utopian ideals devoid of the reality that is the permanent and enduring struggle [sustainable conflict] that is human interaction. As such I promise you, or anyone no-peace except as alluded to earlier with the greatest desire to share in that with all humanity.” (J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012 PP 128-. 129)

  4. avatar Peter says:

    I mean… He’s not wrong… If people aren’t violent, that would include gun violence. It’s like saying the key to curing cancer is to cure all diseases.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      No, it’s like him saying “You can avoid Cancer, just don’t be susceptible to errors in your cells duplicating themselves or your genes, and don’t be susceptible to things like gamma rays in your environment that may alter your cells’ DNA or its replication”.

      You cannot avoid human nature. We are all have basic needs and we are all stuck here on this rock (or whatever other rocks in the Universe (or vehicles to get there that) the CREATOR allows us to inhabit). We are in a permanent struggle with those needs, our environment, and time. When our struggles cross, we are sometimes in a struggle with each other. It is inescapable. Where prosperity and ease has been cultivated by diligence to our own personal struggles, there are always others who decide it’s easier to struggle against the providers of such prosperity than to instead also struggle for their own. That is also inescapable.

      ANYWHO, I won’t complain if you wish to be the last person to ask St. Peter for a ‘spare mag’. I promise, in small ways, that I will try to.

  5. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Well, roughly half of the world’s Christian population is non-Catholic, and therefore assigns no more significance to Papal decrees than they would to the opinions of the guy who cuts their hair or runs their local grocery store.

    That said, the Vatican’s statement here is lot like saying the best way to stop people from burning to death is to keep stuff from catching on fire; it’s certainly not wrong, but it’s too vague on particulars to be very helpful.

    So, yeah; what Peter just said.

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      Your stats are a little off 1.2 billion Catholics vs 800 Protestants. If you add orthodox ~300 million you get close but the relationship between them and Rome is different. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members

      1. avatar Timmy! says:

        I’d be willing to bet that I, personally, have known more than 800 Protestants in my 51.5 years on this planet… and I rarely leave Fort Worth, Texas.

      2. avatar Lucas D. says:

        Your stats are a little off 1.2 billion Catholics vs 800 Protestants.

        Swing, and a miss. Not that it really matters, since the specific ratio of Catholics to Protestants has no bearing on how the latter does not and never will care what the Pope has to say.

        1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          Lol yeah typing tired 800 million

        2. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

          I don’t know if that is totally true, a large group of Anglicans/ episcopalians Joined the Catholic Church over recent doctrinal changes. Whether Anglicans were ever true Protestants could be argued. Further food for thought Christianity (if you add Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox) is the biggest religion (~2.2 billion) followed by Islam( if you add together Sunni and Shia)(~1.7 billion) third is irreligious(athesist, agnostic, not religious ect)

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Papal BULL?!? Deep buddy…let’s just be nice.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “A Papal bull is a specific kind of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.”

      — Wikipedia

      Ironic, no?

  7. avatar anonymoose says:

    Owning guns for deterrence is non-violence. Of course the Pope and the Democratic Party don’t see things that way.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Then THANK GOD that the Swiss Guard do, and they will go full-auto on your heathen a_ _ if need be.

      LAUS DEO!

  8. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …well, wasn’t that just special?

    *8|

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      methinks the current pope has lost touch with reality, possibly never had it and might be blinded by his own faith….

      Never get High off your own supply.

  9. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Maybe the community leaders in various violent areas of Chicago could go door to door, and to the clubs, and streets, and get everyone to sign a pledge promising to not be violent. And when others get released from jail after committing a violent act, they could sign too! If everyone just stopped killing each other the violence would go away! Amazing! Problem solved!

  10. avatar Jomo says:

    No, Mr. Pope… The key is ending fatherlessness in society. Nothing motors young men along the road to violent self-destruction like the shifting moral foundation they get in our single-parent households. If you’re a woman, working 12-14 hrs a day just to put food on the table, how much time do you really have to instill values in your kids? If you’re in the government welfare system and all your kids ever see is poverty and ugliness (single parents have much more trouble making ends meet), how do you show them a brighter world? When the only men of means that a young man sees is a thug with a bag of crack and a gun, what example does that set? Once again, pope Francis, you blew it. You make me ashamed to be Catholic.

  11. avatar MouseGun says:

    This stupid hat-wearing false profit can shove it. He can’t even get his sheep to stop diddling altar boys. Where does he get the idea he can stop gang violence?

  12. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    “Walking the path of peace is not always easy, but it is the only authentic response to violence”, says the guy who putters around in a bulletproof Pope-mobile defended by an armed Swiss Guard contingent…..

    Suck it, Padre.

  13. avatar Herp says:

    People sure are giving the Pope a hard time about this over here. I can’t understand why. More often than not we’re giving antis a hard time for NOT realizing Chicago’s problem is bad culture.

    The pope is right, Chicago needs to fix its culture internally.

  14. avatar PDW says:

    And if the prayers, crucifixes, burning incense and supplications don’t achieve the desired effect then maybe the Pope can authorize a modern day Knights Templar and send thousands of them into the Windy City to slaughter the infidels / gang members.
    Deus vult !

  15. avatar rt66paul says:

    This Pope is more in tune with the secular world that many before him. I believe he is a good man, and is not just spouting off Catholic Doctrine any time trouble pops up. He does not understand the American way, he has been in the third world – in the third world, the men think a firearm is magic. They have little education and do others’ bidding so they can eat. They do not think for themselves.

    People like that are dangerous. They should not vote, they really have no purpose around firearms without some type of education. Sadly, the church does not really want them to be educated. Even in the US, there are 2 types of Catholic schools. There are those that teach well and want the future movers and shakers to be Catholic. Also, there are the “other” schools. In New Orleans, there are Catholic schools that have black nuns and teachers. They teach only children of color. In other places, there are white teachers, and nuns and brothers, but the main goal is to teach them to kneel down, pray, and to accept thier fate.
    I suspect this is everywhere Catholic schools exist. The church keeps people humble, and they do not want them questioning their ways.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    I see nothing to disagree with. I see nothing of practical value, either, but at least he’s not telling his flock that they must all endorse gun control (indeed, the phrase ‘gun violence’ and word ‘gun’ never appears in the letter at all).

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    We are fortunate to have a Pontiff like Red Francis who exposes the Church for what it is every time he opens his mouth.

  18. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    “Non-Violence: The Key to Ending ‘Gun Violence’”

    Oh, I don’t know, I think every person that was raped, abused, injured, or died because they non-violently complied and/or submitted to an armed criminal would disagree with this message if given the opportunity to do-over their encounter.

    Meanwhile, this message is insulting to every person that has survived an encounter with a violent encounter vs. a criminal because the would-be victim used violence to save themselves from abuse, rape, injury, and/or death.

    What a dangerous and irresponsible message.

  19. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Replace the words “non-violent” with non-aggression.

    No human being has the right (authority) to INITIATE force against any other human being under any circumstance, nor to delegate such initiation of force. Every living thing has an innate right (authority) to defend themselves, their loved ones and their community FROM those who do INITIATE force against them.

    A big problem is that far too many people, even those of good will, simply do not understand this. Unfortunately, this “pope” neither understands it or wants to. As with any other politician, it’s all about control, and they’ll use any violence they think necessary to gain and maintain that control.

  20. avatar Wiregrass says:

    In nature, a lot of God’s creatures, even peaceful creatures that do not use violence for their survival threaten violence by their mere appearance. So if he’s equating being prepared for self defense with aggression, then, Pope, I have a problem with your interpretation of things.

  21. avatar sound awake says:

    NEHEMIAH 4

    Opposition to the Rebuilding

    4 [a]When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2 and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

    3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”

    4 Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of[b] the builders.

    6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

    7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

    10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

    11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

    12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

    13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

    15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

    16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

    19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

    21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” 23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.[c]

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email