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Cardinal Cupich’s Statements

Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the tragic loss of life due to gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend

July 8, 2024

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Cleveland; Philadelphia; Boston; Albany, New York; Detroit; Tampa, Florida; Connecticut; Chicago. They all have one thing in common: Deadly mass shootings over this year’s Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Two years ago, seven people lost their lives in a mass shooting in Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago, during the Independence Day parade. This year, as the Highland Park community started to heal by getting ready for their first parade since that terrible day, we witnessed atrocious violence across Chicago: More than 100 people were struck by gunfire, 19 people lost their lives, and countless families and friends of those victims are left with questions, prayers and anger.

As I said last year, we have a gun violence epidemic in America, and it is far past time for us to do something about it. The beautiful memories of the people lost tragically to gun violence will remain forever, but so will the trauma from the loss of loved ones.

Elected officials must take action and listen to the voices of the Americans who are losing children, parents, friends, mentors and hope to gun violence.

Let our prayer be that of Pope Francis, who sent us his message of support after the Highland Park shooting: "With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to depart from evil and do good, may every member of society reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages."