The bishop of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese says the church stands ready to help the families and colleagues of two murdered police officers through their grief, but Bishop Richard Pates is also urging the community to have a conversation about the “proliferation” of guns.
“We have to raise the question: are we protecting those who are protecting us?” Bishop Pates said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “In other words, are we doing enough through legislation and in other ways…Weapons that are so destructive are getting in the wrong hands and we’re suffering a great deal because of it.”
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the head in downtown Des Moines as he rode in a car along a busy street last
week and there was a shooting at a stoplight near a Des Moines shopping mall on Monday night. According to Pates, it is “within the realm of common sense” to address gun issues.
Pates told Radio Iowa his heart goes out to the families directly involved in Wednesday’s murders, as well as the central Iowa law enforcement community struggling with this “enormous tragedy.”
“We want them to know that we’re with them, that our prayers are with them, that our support and solidarity are with them at this time and that we’re available to help in any way that we can,” Pates said. “…We all suffer in the mystery of an early death like this. We are one, with them, in that suffering.”
Pates and other leaders from the Des Moines-area religious community held an interfaith service last night at a church in Urbandale.