Religious leaders express solidarity with Sikh community after shooting
Published: August 6, 2012
MILWAUKEE (CNS) -- Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki joined other religious leaders in offering condolences and prayers to the people of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Oak Creek following an Aug. 5 shooting spree that left six of the temple's members dead and at least three others seriously wounded. "Our prayers go out to the congregation at the temple and to the entire Sikh community. It is in times like these that we turn to God who is the consolation and hope for all of us," he said in a brief statement. According to police, the shooter entered the temple during a religious service and shot into the gathering using an automatic weapon. He killed four people inside the temple and two more outside, then he wounded a police officer. A second officer shot and killed the gunman, who was later identified as Wade Michael Page. Other faith leaders in Wisconsin and across the country expressed support for the temple community. Executive director Tom Heinen of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee said people of all faiths were grieving "for the loss of life" and have "great empathy for what the Sikh community is experiencing." The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs expressed the bishops' prayerful solidarity with the U.S. Sikh community in an Aug. 6 statement. "We Catholics mourn with our Sikh brothers and sisters," said Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore. "We share a warm and fruitful friendship, as well as a love of God and a belief in the community of all people, making yesterday's tragedy all the more painful and difficult to comprehend." "The U.S. bishops stand with the Sikh community and reject all violence, particularly violence inflicted out of religious intolerance," the bishop continued. "We are especially saddened that this horrendous act was carried out in a house of worship against people joined together as a family to worship God."
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