In response to last weekend’s shooting at an Orlando night club, the Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Brewer, has said that “words of condolence have little value.” The Bishop, whose Cathedral of St. Luke is just 1.5 miles (2.6 km) away from the scene of the shooting, said: “all we can do is grieve, pray and support the families of those who have died the best we can.”
Forty-nine people were killed and 53 injured when Omar Mateen, a supporter of the Islamic terror group Daesh, opened fire at the Pulse night club early Sunday morning. The club is popular with members of Orlando’s gay and lesbian community. The scale of the killing makes it one of the most lethal mass shootings in recent US history. Mateen was subsequently shot dead by police.
Bishop Brewer stated: “Someone said that the deeper the grief, the fewer the words. That’s how I feel. Words of condolence have little value in the face of this carnage.”
“I will leave it to others to look for someone to blame. There will be time later to raise questions about security, gun violence, and homophobic rage. There is no justification for this atrocity. I categorically condemn what has happened.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, said in a video message “We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have died; we pray for those who are wounded – that they might have healing; we pray for the families and those who grieve; we pray for our communities, our nation and our world – indeed we pray for the whole human family.”
Other Anglicans leaders have also commented on the outrage.
The Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, said: “We were saddened by news of the attack in Orlando. We stand strongly against any kind of violence, especially where individuals think to take the position of God in punishing others. We pray for the victims’ families and friends and nation.”
The Primate of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, said: “we . . . pray for the families of those gunned down and killed in the terrible massacre. We pray for the recovery of those injured, for the LGBT community and the people of Orlando.”
A candle was lit at the Church of Ireland’s Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on Tuesday, in memory of those who died in the attack. The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev. Michael Jackson, said: “These events are becoming all too common. It is for this reason that we hold before God each individual who has suffered and each individual who has died as a special person and as a child of God’s creation. Right across the faiths of the world we long and pray for a time when there will be an end to such attacks and an end to the needless and senseless loss of human life.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in a joint statement with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said: “The obligation to object to these acts of persecution, and to support those LGBT people who are wickedly and cruelly killed and wounded, bereaved and traumatised, whether in Orlando or elsewhere, is an absolute call on our Christian discipleship.
“It arises from the unshakeable certainty of the gracious love of God for every human being. Now, in this time of heartbreak and grief, is a time for solidarity. May God our Father give grace and comfort to all who mourn, and divine compassion to us all.”
Adapted from The Anglican Communion News Service