Presiding Bishop delivers message from primates on Las Vegas shooting


[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry and the primates of the Anglican Communion prayed to honor the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More than 50 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday evening, marking the worst mass shooting on American soil.

The primates have gathered at Canterbury Cathedral for their Oct. 2-6 meeting.

Statement from the primates
The following is a statement from the primates of the Anglican Communion to Bishop Dan Edwards of the Diocese of Nevada.

We were greatly distressed to learn of the dreadful events in Las Vegas last night. The scale of the loss of life and the numbers of injured is truly shocking. We are sending our deepest condolences to you and to the people of your diocese – in particular, the people of Las Vegas.

We are praying for the families and friends of those who have died and for the many people who have been wounded. We remember, too, everyone else caught up in this tragedy – including the emergency services (first responders).  We pray that the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ will be with the people of Las Vegas as they endure this trauma.

The primates statement in Spanish
El Obispo Presidente emite mensaje de los primados sobre Nevada

Estamos profundamente consternados con la noticia de los terribles eventos ocurridos anoche en Las Vegas. La escala de la pérdida de vidas y de heridos es estremecedora. Enviamos nuestras más sentidas condolencias a usted y a las personas de su diócesis y en particular a la gente de Las Vegas. Estamos orando por los familiares y amigos de aquellos que murieron y por las muchas personas que sufrieron heridas.

Recordamos también a todos aquellos que se vieron afectados por esta tragedia, incluyendo los servicios de emergencia (profesionales de servicios de primera respuesta). Oramos para que la paz del Señor Jesucristo esté con las personas de Las Vegas para que puedan superar esta tragedia.

The primates statement in French
L’Évêque Président transmet un message des primats sur le Nevada

Nous sommes profondément affligés d’apprendre les terribles événements de Las Vegas hier soir. L’étendue des pertes humaines et le nombre de blessés sont véritablement choquants. Nous adressons nos condoléances les plus sincères à vous-mêmes et aux fidèles de votre diocèse – en particulier, et à la population de Las Vegas. Nous prions pour les familles et amis de ceux qui ont trouvé la mort et pour les nombreuses personnes qui ont été blessées.

Nous n’oublions pas non plus toutes les autres personnes retrouvées prises dans cette tragédie – notamment les services d’urgence (premiers intervenants). Nous prions pour que la paix de notre Seigneur Jésus Christ soit avec la population de Las Vegas qui subit ce traumatisme.


  1. Kate Bates says:

    Lovely message, lovely sentiments. What aren’t you calling for gun control policies now? Please don’t say it’s time to grieve. We’ve been grieving since Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Orlando. In the name of God, come home and chain yourself to the gates of the White House and/or NRA headquarters.

    • Permit me, Ms. Bates, to join you in your sensibilities. Prayer without action comes close to blasphemy. Is it the Church, like Congress, is afraid of offending big money supporters who believe automatic assault weapons are their Constitutional due? Piety at this moment grates like chalk against a universal blackboard.

  2. Leigh Sherrill says:

    Prayer is fine, but action is better. We need to ban assault weapons and clips with multiple rounds from sales to private individuals,

  3. Dn. Dorothy Royal says:

    When we take away guys from the avage person then only the bad guys will have guns. No I don’t belong to the NRA. But I have a son and daughter that have chose to carry concealed guns. I feel safe when I am with them. Yes, there are people out there that kill people with a gun.

  4. P.J. Cabbiness says:

    Stop with the thoughtless, empirically discredited, politically motivated, factually unsupported, gun control commentary. This horror was planned and executed by an evil, deranged human monster and to blame the instrument is foolish. Our entire nation is indicted by the fact that we have created and are sustaining an environment that keeps producing these killers. We are moving in the wrong direction as a people.

    • When I was a child, the westerns all had the bad guys stop carrying guns in town. I grew up thinking we were a peaceful nation, with little need for guns. My family hunted and I had my own, barely functioning, pellet rifle. I enjoyed shooting, but I cannot agree that the availability of guns and the culture of fear that has people parading around with weapons, or keeping them concealed, is not a huge step backwards. Why assault rifles? Why relax regulations for background and mental health checks? Hunting, fine, though silencers? Those who continually say, well, it is people, not the guns. Please. Of course there will always be violence, but it is much more readily available. We can, and should, do more to have sensible measures for a deadly weapon. How much help would a concealed weapon have been in Vegas? It is likely that some even had them. Now the response will be to have everyone have an assault rifle, to feel safe. On and on. PJ, I do not agree with your first sentence, but agree that our environment (and gun culture is part of that) is conducive to encouraging violent behavior.

    • Kitt Gassman says:

      How do you begin to treat the spiritual sickness ? What makes people indifferent to human life pain & suffering?

  5. Doug Desper says:

    The only reason to own a rapid fire weapon with high capacity magazines is to produce mass casualties. I believe in gun rights but the ability to own a mass casualty weapon can never exist in any reasonable society.

    • Priscilla Johnstone says:

      I agree with you – I wish we could have reasonable discussions about common sense legal requirements ( such as gun education & safety requirements & background checks) and limitations on the weapons as you have described. Surely we can find ways to better protect our children and innocent people. And yes, we have all heard the arguements against restrictions but at some point we must examine our own hearts and consciences about this issue. We have the highest rate of gun-related deaths of all the western nations – that should be our focus. Why, in this society are we so quick to resolve disagreements with violence; why do so many people feel entitled to take another’s life? Why are we not respecting the rights of POC, minorities, LGBTQ, and non-Christians, why is hatred and related violence now so acceptable? This should be addressed as a major public health or sociological issue for our nation to address. I do pray for our country, for unity, common sense and a willingness to work together; together, we can achieve great results. 🙏❤️

    • The Rev. Ann Van Dervoort says:

      You are absolutely right, Doug. The ability to own a mass casualty weapon in a reasonable society is beyond my comprehension! I do not understand why seemingly all of our legislators are losing their souls! They stand by and watch TV and do nothing about this mass destruction that is occurring over and over and over. Maybe if it touches one of them they will change their minds. i hope it does not come to that.

    • Bill Louis says:

      I am extremely sad and upset that a maniac used a “mass casualty weapon” against innocent civilians. This aftermath of this kind of tragedy always brings emotional responses about firearm ownership, There are millions of these kinds of legal weapons in the hands of law abiding citizens. Confiscating legal firearms will never prevent this kind of tragedy. Those that are evil will always find a way.
      The reason for the Second Amendment is not about hunting or recreational target shooting: It’s about protecting our freedoms. We cannot face a tyrannical government armed with modern weapns using muskets and bolt action hunting rifles. If not for the Second Amendment Japan may have invaded our country at the beginning of the second world war. Look it up.
      George Mason said:
      “A well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State”.
      The Founding Fathers, having just broken away from Great Britain, understood the new federal government they were ratifying might one day become just as tyrannical. If it had the authority to control citizen access to firearms, then it could disarm them, just as the British attempted to do. This would make any attempts to restore liberties futile.
      It is tragic that something like this happens in this country. You can argue that tyranny will not happen today in our “resonable society” but we have examples of Nazi Gemany and Stalin’s Russia and many others as well as the constant chipping away of our freedoms. I’ve yet to hear a common sense solution to prevent gun tragedies, Anti gun supporters are quick to jump to conclusions when its not known how and where these weapons came from and who if anyone is behind this carnage. “Never let a crisis go to waste”.
      I pray for the families and souls of those affected in Las Vegas.

  6. Donald Heacock says:

    We don’t the details yet but the weapons used in this mass killing were automatic. These are illegal. The storage device was also illegals. They were altered. No gun control would stop this short of total gun ban. As soon as you here the weapon fire you knew they were illegal. They fired to fast an too long to be legal

    • Don’t be naive. The kits to convert a gun to automatic are all ove the Internet. Ban them. Don’t ban the autos, take the. Away immediately like Australia did. People will still find ways to kill people, but it will be much more difficult and not on such a horrible grand scale.

  7. Sarah Rachel says:

    Banning guns will not stop violence and/or such raw evil. I believe we should be able to have a gun to protect ourselves. I am not an NRA member and do not own a gun. I have been giving thought about getting a permit, get proper training and practice. I feel it is necessary to protect ourselves during these times. Don’t blame the “tool” – blame the killer.

    • Doug Desper says:

      Sarah, a psychotic killer who can’t lay hands on a mass casualty automatic weapon should be the goal. Since we can’t perform a psychological and morality exam on millions of potential buyers common sense dictates that the option to lay hands on such weapons should not exist. For this same reason buying grenades and flamethrowers is not possible — they don’t belong in the hands of an average buyer.

  8. Talmage G Bandy says:

    Thank you Bishop Michael. I prayed with you with tears running down my face.

  9. Think of how much worse this would have been if his guns had silencers. Our current congress wants to have it legal to have silencers, which would make it impossible to tell where gunfire is coming from. We are required to have drivers licenses and licenses and permits for our cars. It should be the same for guns. Automatic guns and machine guns are made to kill people, not hunt deer or ducks. We need more safeguards to work against gun violence.

  10. Julie Nguyen says:

    Gun control laws won’t stop people who intend to do harm from doing harm, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help the situation. Making it less readily available will make it harder for people to have access to these types of weapons. We don’t have to take away people’s rights to owning weapons, but we can restrict the types of weapons that are available to the general consumer. There is a solution and a common ground somewhere. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but we need to work together and have civil discussion in order to address the issue.

    • mike geibel says:

      As a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, i agree with your comments 100%. Timothy McVeigh did not use a gun in the Oklahoma bombing, so it is foolish to think that laws will stop all the Frankensteins who dwell in their own delusional worlds of hatred, anger and religious intolerance.

      The gun grabbers need to abandon their goal of banning of private ownership, and the “right to bear arms” proponents need to abandon the paranoid belief that every law will lead to governmental confiscation. And included in the discussion should be recognition of the contribution by the movie and video game industries which profit from glorifying violence and who numb our senses to the real horror of mayhem and murder. Both the right to bear arms, and the right to free speech, are subject to reasonable restrictions as long as the Constitutional right is preserved.

      We also must respect regional differences. What may be a reasonable gun restriction in our crowded cities, may make no sense in Buzzard Breath, Wyoming where the definition of a “drive by shooting” is a farmer shooting jackrabbits from a pick-up truck.

  11. P.J. Cabbiness says:

    We can ban firearms, trucks, cars, fertilizer, gasoline, knives, bows, objects that have sharp edges, coffee tables with corners, etc. until we live in a snowflake safe “nerf” world. It won’t make any difference. A committed, focused, mass killer will find a way to obtain the weapons or devices needed for his or her twisted plans. Unfortunately, as law abiding citizens, we will have surrendered our ability to defend ourselves from these evil maniacs. The problem is the person, not the firearm. Our disconnected, relativist, post modern, theological “light”, morally impaired culture is creating these people. That is where the problem originates. The hypocrisy of the left does not help. Our youth are fed endless, impersonal violence on TV and in the movies and in video games by the same people who advocate gun control and political speech control. Sickening. We must regain our respect for the sanctity of life and stop contributing to a culture of violence and death.

  12. Jawaharlal Prasad says:

    When violence is celebrated in media and value free education emphasized, the recent shooting in Las Vegas along with many others should not come as a surprise. I agree with what PJ has to say about a committed killer. People owned guns in US before but I don’t recall so many mass killings. Something has gone wrong!

  13. Anthony Oberdorfer says:

    I agree with PJC’s excellent comment about the “hypocrisy of the left” and the fact that the most hardline advocates of gun control include many who glorify violence in ways that make money for them.

    The best proof that “the problem is the person, not the firearm” can be found in Switzerland. That enviable country has a small standing army but most Swiss males are required by law to maintain a gun at home and know how to use it until they are well into their thirties. Yet individual or mass shootings in Switzerland are exceedingly rare.

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