Gun violence has become an epidemic in the United States, with an average of one mass shooting a day since the start of 2022. The month of May saw two especially violent and horrifying mass shootings: On May 14, 10 Black people were murdered in a racially-motivated attack in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. On May 24, a gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers in a school in Uvalde, Texas.
Following the Uvalde shooting, Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich issued a statement, in which he posed this question: “Who are we as a nation if we do not act to protect our children? What do we love more: our instruments of death or our future?” This was not the first time Cardinal Cupich addressed the issue of gun violence. In the past he has spoken out strongly on the need for our nation to take strong action, including legislation to regulate gun access.
On this episode of Field Hospital, Jeannie and Mike talk to Cardinal Cupich about the importance of a consistent ethic of life, our responsibilities to protect the vulnerable, and how the church can help heal the wounds of the world inflicted by gun violence.
Cardinal Blase Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska and ordained a priest in 1975. In 1998 Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota. Then, in 2010, Pope Benedict appointed him bishop of Spokane, Washington. Pope Francis appointed him archbishop of Chicago in 2014 and elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 2016.
Since he became a bishop, Cardinal Cupich has served as chair of the USCCB’s Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and as Chair for the National Catholic Educational Association from 2013–2015. Currently he serves on several USCCB committees and is a member of the Vatican’s Dicasteries for Bishops and Divine Worship and the Vatican Congregation on Education.
You can find out more information about Cardinal Cupich, his statements on gun legislation, and our moral responsibility to meet the challenges of gun violence in these links.
- “Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, NY”
- “Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the massacre of children in Uvalde, Texas”
- “Cardinal Cupich calls on lawmakers to act to combat gun violence,” by Doug Finke.
- “The church’s future depends on mission, not maintenance.” A U.S. Catholic interview.
- “Cardinal Cupich calls for action on gun legislation,” by Heidi Schlumpf
- “Amid rising gun violence, Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich calls for solidarity—not retreating to safe spaces,” by Michael J. O’Loughlin.
- “Dear Catholics, now is an acceptable time for gun reform,” by Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J.
- “A Mercy and Peacebuilding Approach to Gun Violence”
This episode of Field Hospital is supported by Catholic Theological Union.