The mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is a terrible tragedy that takes our total attention, everything we can bring to bear in prayer. We know that we must look at, wrestle with, understand, and confront the root causes of these mass shootings that are occurring with greater and greater frequency across our country, and indeed throughout the world, and I commit myself to this work; it is essential. For the murderer to wear a mask, black clothing, and body armor, as some reports have said, in order to attack a school full of children is clearly the work of a deranged mind, but I suspect that beyond the individual gunman’s sickness there is something of terrible enormity in our culture that we must comprehend.
Now though is not the time for that work, or even to speculate about it beyond naming it. This is the time for mourning, and for standing with the families and loved ones of the victims; with the people of Newtown and Connecticut as a whole; and the Diocese of Connecticut. Standing, mute, most likely (as who has words for this sorrow?), but standing with hands upturned to a God who is completely, lovingly present with all that lives and dies on this planet.
I and the Diocese of California are standing in prayer with the Diocese of Connecticut, as we seek to absorb unspeakable sorrow.
+Marc Handley Andrus
Bishop, Diocese of California