Texas Bishops Offer Prayers After Shooting at Christian Church

Bishops in Texas offer condolences after a gunman entered a Texas church Sunday morning and started shooting.

(photo: Shutterstock)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Catholic leaders in Texas offered prayers following a deadly shooting at a Christian church on Sunday morning.

“On behalf of the Catholic Community of the Diocese of Dallas, we extend heartfelt prayers for those affected by the shootings at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX,” said Bishop Edward Burns on Twitter.

“As people of faith, we know that sin, evil, suffering, and death will not have the last word,” he added.

Shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday, a gunman opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a few miles west of Fort Worth.

According to police, the gunman killed two people before members of the congregation shot and killed him.

Texas governor Greg Abbott credited the quick action of the congregants in ending the attack, which lasted just a few seconds.

In a statement following the shooting, Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth called for prayers.

“I ask all priests, deacons, religious women and men, seminarians, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Fort Worth to please pray with me for those who were affected by the hateful act of violence in the sanctuary of a community of brother and sister Christians at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement.”

Bishop Olson also pointed to efforts within the Diocese of Fort Worth to increase security measures in recent months. These efforts include training ushers, greeters and other parish team members to identify suspicious behavior, medical equipment and training requirements for all churches, and armed volunteers selected by church pastors.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio also responded to the shooting.

“My heart goes out to the victims killed and wounded in the shooting this morning at Westway Church of Christ near Fort Worth,” he said in a statement. “My prayers are with all who were traumatized by this senseless tragedy.”

“That this act of violence occurred in a house of worship unfortunately no longer shocks our senses,” the archbishop continued. “At this time of bitter division and polarization, we must unite in common purpose and commitment to save our society. We can do no less.”

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his Angelus address August 30, 2020.

Pope Francis: The Path to Holiness Requires Spiritual Combat

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, the pope said that “living a Christian life is not made up of dreams or beautiful aspirations, but of concrete commitments, in order to open ourselves ever more to God's will and to love for our brothers and sisters.”

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

President Trump: ‘Faith in God’ Helps Unite Nation

In an apparent reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and months of demonstrations and civil unrest across several U.S. cities over racial justice issues, Trump said that faith was an important support for civil and national unity.

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims during his Angelus address August 30, 2020.

Pope Francis: The Path to Holiness Requires Spiritual Combat

Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, the pope said that “living a Christian life is not made up of dreams or beautiful aspirations, but of concrete commitments, in order to open ourselves ever more to God's will and to love for our brothers and sisters.”