As Victims Names are Released from the Highland Park Shooting, Pope Francis Offers Condolences and the US Bishops Call for Gun Legislation

 Seven people were killed and at least 30 others wounded after a 21-year-old man opened fire on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park on July 4th, 2022. The shooter Robert E. Crimo III, age 21, was caught and is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. These are the victims of the Highland Park parade shooting by the coroners who identified 7 victims killed : Nicolas Toledo, who was 78 of Mexico, Nicolas Toledo, Jacki Sundheim, 63, Jacki Sundheim, Katherine Goldstein, 64, Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, Stephen Straus, 88, Eduardo Uvaldo, 69. 
Pope Francis sent a Telegram of Condolence and Prayer via Cardinal Parolin:

His Eminence Cardinal Blase Cupich

Archbishop of Chicago

his holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the senseless shooting that took place in Highland park and he asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to all affected by this attack. His holiness joins the entire community in praying that almighty god will grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the injured and bereaved. With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to “depart from evil and do good” (ps 34:14), Pope Francis prays that every member of society will reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages. as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord, the holy Father sends his blessing. Vatican Release -

Statement of Bishop Chairmen on July 4 Shooting

WASHINGTON - In response to the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, IL, which killed 7 and injured dozens more, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human DevelopmentArchbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth issued the following statement:

“Over the holiday, yet another community experienced the devastation of a mass shooting, a situation that has become shockingly commonplace in our country. One of the many horrors that emerged from this shooting was the orphaning of a two-year-old boy. He was found underneath his father, who died shielding him from gunfire. Our prayers are with this child, and all those who grieve in the face of this tragedy. 

It seems there are no days of the year when our nation is not grieving the latest mass shooting.It has not always been this way, and it is getting worse.That the Highland Park shooting took place on a day when we celebrate all that is good about America and America’s freedoms is a devastating reminder that mass shootings do not happen with the same relentless and brutal frequency in other places in the world.  

It can be hard to find hope now, though we know our hope is in Jesus who is always near to us in suffering. We are grateful that Congress recently passed its first major gun legislation in nearly 30 years.But in the face of these repeated acts of violence, that cannot be all we do. We call on Catholics, lawmakers, community leaders, health care and social service providers, law enforcement, and families to keep pushing for change and offer prayers, support, and generous assistance to victims. For years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have supported policies to strengthen gun laws, as well as emphasized mental health, family, and cultural factorsaimed at curbing gun violence.We support a total ban on assault weapons and limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines.It is sobering to think that as horrible as mass shootings are, they are but a sliver of total annual homicides committed with guns; and gun homicides, in turn, are far outnumbered by gun suicides.  

“May we live to see an America that can celebrate its freedoms without orphaning its children.  May the pursuit of liberty one day be a faithful guardian to the pursuit of life.May the Light of God’s compassion shine onus and guide our feet out of darkness and the shadow of death, and into the way of peace.” 

For more information on the USCCB’s advocacy to prevent gun violence, please see: