After mass shooting horror, S.C. Catholics mourn with Charleston church [CNA], S.C., Jun 18, 2015 / 12:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A mass shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C. drew prayers and sympathy from the state’s Catholics, aghast at the horror of the crime which may have had racial motivations.

“The inside of any church is a sanctuary. When a person enters, he or she has the right to worship, pray and learn in a safe and secure environment,” Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston said June 18. “For anyone to murder nine individuals is upsetting, but to kill them inside of a church during a Bible study class is devastating to any faith community.”

Bishop Guglielmone offered his deepest sympathies on behalf of all Catholics in South Carolina to the families of the victims and the church members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“I pray that everyone affected by this horror will feel the comforting presence of our Lord surrounding them during this difficult time.”

A white gunman fatally shot three men and six women at the historic black church June 17 after an evening prayer meeting and Bible study. Three people survived.

The shooter sat in the church for almost an hour before he stood up and opened fire.

Local authorities have not publicly identified the victims. Church members, friends, and family told the Charleston Post and Courier that the dead include Pastor Clementa Pinckney, 41, who was also a state senator.

Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of Pinckney, told NBC News that an eyewitness said the gunman sat next to the pastor during the Bible study.

The gunman reportedly told one woman who survived that he was letting her live to tell everyone what had happened, Dot Scott, president of the Charleston NAACP, told the Charleston Post and Courier.

James Johnson, who had become friends with Pinckney through civil rights activism, said the feeling after the shooting was “very numb; it’s sad.”

“No one expects to go to church to worship their God and be shot dead,” said Johnson, a chapter president of the National Action Network civil rights organization.

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday.

He had been jailed twice previously on a trespassing charge and a separate controlled substance charge. His Facebook page shows him wearing a jacket with the apartheid-era South African flag and the flag of Rhodesia, USA Today reports.

Local law enforcement and federal authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

According to Sylvia Johnson, the gunman told the church members “I have to do it. You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country.”

Hundreds of people gathered at another Charleston African Methodist Episcopal church for a June 18 prayer vigil.

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister was among the speakers.

“What crime did they commit? They were guilty of believing because they were in a holy place, no such thing could occur,” he said.

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South.

The church community dates back to before 1816. A founding member, Denmark Vesey, led a slave rebellion in 1822 that resulted in the burning of the church and drove its members underground. The church reorganized in 1865, and hosted a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. in April, 1962.

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Thank you. :gopray::frowning:

Too much violence in America.

If one of those people had a gun…they could have stopped that nut from killing as many people as he did.


It doesn’t seem as if they were banned from carrying a gun to church. After all the gunman was able to walk into the church with one concealed and was not searched. If anything the church members probably let down their guard. Most people at church or mass are probably not on high alert. :frowning: I know when I am in church I am not really looking around trying to spot a gunman. I started doing this in classes after the Virginia Tech. shootings.
It seems not even churches are off limits.:frowning:


I played guitar at 100’s of prayer meetings, but I doubt if any of the people had a weapon.

Now, maybe someone should be armed???

Or if that nut didn’t have a gun, he couldn’t have killed as many people as he did.

Yeah that “gun” was a Birthday Gift for his twenty first birthday… They gave him the money to buy it… :eek:

Was he screened & licensed to have a gun?

Based on one report he was given the gun as a gift. He was not able to purchase it himself because of his record. So the gun sellers did their job. The relative who gave him the gift knowing he could not own one legally, bears some of the blame it seems.

I am always amazed and touched how victims are able to forgive the perpetrator when such horrible tragedies befall their friends and family. It is an extremely hard thing to do.

Should those who gave him a gun, knowing that he could not own one legally, stand for murder charges? I tend to think so, yes.

Why are folks focused on the gun??? what about the evil that existed that infested the predator which moved him to kill innocent souls. From what I have heard is that he was involved with skin heads or at least with the evil rhetoric.

As Saint Peter said, 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour”.

So was this predator brought up in a loving Christian family and had Jesus in his heart or did he come from the secular world where the devil permeates into peoples lives (devours them) that they finally sink so low after years of absence from our Lord that this brutal act comes so easily?

Everybody wants to blame the gun, I don’t, I blame Satan for the evil that exists and he is sitting back laughing because people are too blind to recognize his handy work.

I’m not blaming the gun …I just question why the President is calling for gun control. We already have gun laws…the evil doers know how to get guns illegally. :shrug:

Oh I was not suggesting that you were blaming the gun, just the media and politicians. sorry for not being clear.

We offered Mass last night for the victims of this shooting in solidarity with all of Christendom. I would hope that we all can come together in prayer for this community.

I have to admit, I saw Satan’s hand in all this. (Figuratively, I didn’t really see it) But what made this man susceptible to the adversary’s plan. Was it just a bad use of free will. I so want five minutes with him to ask why? I don’t think guns have anything to do with this. He would have used a knife, a bomb who knows…

It is possible but difficult to kill nine people with a knife as hundreds of others are going to intervene.

Very disturbing and sad. I am also disappointed with the way the authorities knew this young man had issues before hand and suddenly this. Unless he has some severe psychological problems untested and was below the radar. :mad:

Praying for all those killed and their families and friends for strength in this time of suffering and confusion. Praying also as hard as it is, for this young man to repent for his deed of evil.


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