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Devout Christian dad killed in Trump assassination attempt was ‘the very best of us’

Trump supporters are seen covered with blood in the stands in aftermath of assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump in Butler, Pennsylvania, July 13, 2024. / Credit: Photo by REBECCA DROKE/AFP via Getty Images

Boston, Mass., Jul 14, 2024 / 15:46 pm (CNA).

The 50-year-old husband and father who was fatally shot Saturday at former president Donald Trump’s campaign rally outside of Pittsburgh was a devoted Christian and “the very best of us,” according to his family and the state’s governor.

Corey Comperatore “went to church every Sunday. Corey loved his community. Most especially, Corey loved his family,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said in a press conference Sunday.

Speaking to reporters north of Pittsburgh, the Democratic governor said that he spoke to Comperatore’s wife and two daughters. 

Comperatore was a “girl dad” who worked as a firefighter, Shapiro said.

“I asked Corey’s wife if it would be okay for me to share that we spoke. And she said yes,” Shapiro said on Sunday. 

“She also asked that I share with all of you that Corey died a hero. That Corey dove on his family to protect them last night at this rally. Corey was the very best of us. May his memory be a blessing.”

Comperatore was “an avid supporter of the former president and was so excited to be there last night with him in the community,” the governor added.

Flags will be flying at half staff in the state after the tragedy, Shapiro said. 

Comperatore was a chief at the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Department. That township is about a 30-minute drive northeast of Pittsburgh.

Comperatore’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles say that he was a project and tooling engineer at JSP, a manufacturing company.

A Saturday Facebook post from Comperatore’s wife, Helen — posted prior to the shooting — said that the family wasn’t originally sitting in the bleachers behind the former president.

It wasn’t until a campaign official approached the family and asked if they wanted to be seated in the bleachers behind Trump that they were moved, she wrote.

Dawn Comperatore Schafer, who identified herself as Corey’s sister, said on Facebook Sunday that the firefighter “was a hero that shielded his daughters. His wife and girls just lived through the unthinkable and unimaginable. My baby brother just turned 50 and had so much life left to experience.”

“The hatred for one man took the life of the one man we loved the most,” she said. “Hatred has no limits and love has no bounds. Pray for my sister-in-law, nieces, my mother, sister, me, and his nieces and nephews as this feels like a terrible nightmare but we know it is our painful reality.”

A Facebook post by Comperatore’s daughter Allyson was circulating the internet on Sunday; in it she called the event “a real-life nightmare.”

“What was supposed to be an exciting day that we had all looked forward to (ESPECIALLY my dad), turned into the most traumatizing experiences someone could imagine,” she wrote.

Allyson called her father “the best dad a girl could ever ask for,” adding that he “was a man of God, loved Jesus fiercely, and also looked after our church and our members as family.”

“The media will not tell you that he died a real-life superhero. They are not going to tell you how quickly he threw my mom and I to the ground,” she said. 

“They are not going to tell you that he shielded my body from the bullet that came at us. He loved his family. He truly loved us enough to take a real bullet for us. And I want nothing more than to cry on him and tell him thank you. I want nothing more than to wake up and for this to not be reality for me and my family,” she said.

A GoFundMe fundraiser had raised nearly $500,000 for the Comperatore family by Sunday evening.

‘Excess enslaves you,’ Pope Francis warns Christians

Pope Francis waves to crowds before his noon Angelus address during a hot day in Rome on July 14, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jul 14, 2024 / 09:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis on Sunday urged Christians to be an example to others of how to live a sober, nonmaterialistic lifestyle in peace with one’s community.

“It is important to know how to guard sobriety, to know how to be sober in the use of things — sharing resources, skills, and gifts, and doing without excess. Why? To be free: Excess enslaves you,” the pope said in his Angelus address on July 14.

The pope addressed the problems of materialism in his comments before praying the Angelus, a Marian prayer he leads every week on Sundays.

Speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he reflected on the Sunday Gospel, from Mark 6, focusing on Jesus’ instructions to his apostles to “take nothing for the journey” as he sent them forth to preach.

“Let’s pause for a moment on this image,” he said. “The disciples are sent together, and they are to take only what is necessary with them.”

A large crowd attended the Angelus despite the powerful noon sun raising temperatures in the stone-paved square well into the 90s Fahrenheit.

Many people wore hats or held umbrellas to shade themselves from the rays, and despite the heat, still gave an enthusiastic welcome to the pope when he appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace.

Many people wore hats or held umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun's rays during Pope Francis' Angelus address July 14, 2024. Despite the heat, the crowd still gave an enthusiastic welcome to the pope when he appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace. Credit: Vatican Media
Many people wore hats or held umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun's rays during Pope Francis' Angelus address July 14, 2024. Despite the heat, the crowd still gave an enthusiastic welcome to the pope when he appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace. Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis invited those present to reflect on “what happens in our families or communities when we make do with what is necessary, even with little...”

“Indeed, a family or a community that lives in this way creates around it an environment rich in love, in which it is easier to open oneself to faith and the newness of the Gospel, and from which one leaves better, one leaves more serene,” he said.

“If, on the other hand,” he pointed out, “everyone goes his or her own way, if what counts are only things — which are never enough — if we do not listen to each other, if individualism and envy prevail ... the air becomes heavy, life difficult, and encounters become more an occasion of restlessness, sadness, and discouragement, than an occasion for joy.”

“Envy is a deadly thing, a poison,” the pope added, while noting that “communion, harmony among us, and sobriety are important values, indispensable values, for a Church to be missionary at all levels.”

After praying the Angelus in Latin, Pope Francis spoke about Sea Sunday, which the Church is commemorating July 14.

Sea Sunday is the day the Church remembers and prays for all those who work at sea, often in dangerous and lonely conditions.

“On Sea Sunday, let us pray for those who work in the maritime sector and for those who take care of them,” Francis urged.

He also asked Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast day is July 16, to “comfort and obtain peace for all populations who are oppressed by the horror of war.”

“Please, let us not forget tormented Ukraine, Palestine, Israel, and Myanmar,” the pontiff said.

Vatican condemns violence after attack on Trump

Facade of St. Peter's Basilica. / Credit: Nils Huber/Unsplash

Rome Newsroom, Jul 14, 2024 / 08:49 am (CNA).

The Holy See has condemned acts of violence in the wake of the shooting that injured former U.S. president Donald Trump and others and left one dead at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on July 13.

A brief statement provided to CNA by Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni on July 14 said the Holy See expressed “concern about last night’s episode of violence, which wounds people and democracy, causing suffering and death.”

The comment also said the Holy See “is united to the prayer of the U.S. bishops for America, for the victims, and for peace in the country, that the motives of the violent may never prevail.”

Pope Francis did not comment on the incident during his weekly public appearance for the Angelus at noon on Sunday.

Political leaders from around the globe have spoken out against political violence and in support of democracy after the assassination attempt in Butler, Pennsylvania, Saturday evening. 

In a statement posted to Truth Social July 13, Trump said a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. After receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, the former president flew to New Jersey under Secret Service protection late Saturday night.

The FBI has identified the Trump rally shooter as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. Crooks, who carried no ID and was identified with DNA analysis, was killed by a Secret Service sniper at the rally, according to officials.

World leaders unite in support of democracy after attack on Trump; shooter identified

Law enforcement agents stand near the stage of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania, after an assassination attempt on the former president. / Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

CNA Newsroom, Jul 14, 2024 / 07:15 am (CNA).

Political leaders from around the globe have spoken out against political violence and in support of democracy after an assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump at a rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday evening.

Leaders have also wished the former president a quick recovery after he was injured in a shooting at about 6:20 p.m. ET in Butler, Pennsylvania, shortly after the campaign rally began.

In a statement posted to Truth Social on July 13, Trump said a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. After receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, the former president flew to New Jersey under Secret Service protection late Saturday night.

Shooter identified

The FBI has identified the Trump rally shooter as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. Crooks, who carried no ID and was identified with DNA analysis, was killed by a Secret Service sniper at the rally, according to officials.

In a statement, the FBI said the event “remains an active and ongoing investigation” and encouraged anyone with information to call or submit photos or videos online.

Kevin Rojek, FBI Pittsburgh special agent in charge, said at a Saturday night briefing they have not yet identified a motive for the shooting, which left one attendee dead and two in critical condition. Police said all three victims were men.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer announced that Congress will hold a hearing over the assassination attempt, with Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle invited to attend.

Leaders react

French president Emmanuel Macron called the assassination attempt “a tragedy for our democracies.” He wished the former president a speedy recovery, adding that “France shares the shock and indignation of the American people.”

Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, said he was “sickened” by the shooting. “It cannot be overstated — political violence is never acceptable. My thoughts are with former President Trump, those at the event, and all Americans,” he said.

In a post on X, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “We must stand firm against any form of violence that challenges democracy,” and Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te said: “Political violence of any form is never acceptable in our democracies.”

French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting with Governor of Spain at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, France on March 21, 2022. Credit: Victor Velter|Shutterstock
French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting with Governor of Spain at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, France on March 21, 2022. Credit: Victor Velter|Shutterstock

Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, wished Trump a quick recovery “with the hope that the coming months of campaigning will see dialogue and responsibility prevail over hatred and violence.”

A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the shooting and called it an “act of political violence.”

British prime minister Keir Starmer said he was “appalled by the shocking scenes” at the rally. “Political violence in any form has no place in our societies and my thoughts are with all the victims of this attack,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he and his wife, Sara, “were shocked by the apparent attack on President Trump.”

“Together with all democracy-loving peoples around the world, we condemn all forms of political violence,” the president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said on X, adding: “The voice of the people must always remain supreme.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese echoed Marcos’ sentiments. “The incident at former President Trump’s campaign event in Pennsylvania today is concerning and confronting,” he said. “There is no place for violence in the democratic process.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who met Trump last week while visiting the U.S. for a NATO summit, said his prayers were with the former president “in these dark hours.”

In a post on X, President of Argentina Javier Milei wrote that Trump has all his “support and solidarity,” calling the former president the “victim of a cowardly assassination attempt that put his life and that of hundreds of people at risk.”

The Argentine president used the opportunity to call out “the desperation of the international left,” accusing it of “harmful ideology” and a willingness “to destabilize democracies and promote violence to screw itself into power.”

“In fear of losing at the polls, they resort to terrorism to impose their retrograde and authoritarian agenda,” he said, closing by wishing a quick recovery to Trump and saying that the elections in the United States will be held “fairly, peacefully, and democratically.”

U.S. bishops’ Solidarity Fund reminds Catholic to ‘stand with Africa’

Bishops gathered at the19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar in Accra, Ghana, July 2022. / Credit: Courtesy of SECAM

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 14, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ Solidarity Fund for the Church of Africa is bolstering the needs of faithful Catholic communities across the African continent and helping them to meet their challenges.

In a recent statement from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Public Affairs, the bishops said: “Catholics across the United States can answer this call to ‘Stand with Africa’ by participating in their diocese’s annual collection for the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa.”

Though plagued with various difficulties such as poverty, lack of resources, and political conflicts, Africa’s growth and vitality in Catholicism has made the continent a focal point in the Church’s expansion and future aspirations.

According to an October 2023 Vatican report covering the year 2021, the Catholic population of Africa consisted of 265 million, or 18%, of the continent’s population. Whereas Europe has seen declines in its Catholic population, Africa’s Catholic population continues to expand in many places.

“Globalization, climate change, and poverty deeply affect the lives of African men and women every day. But amidst rapid societal change, the Catholic Church remains constant, proclaiming the timeless and hopeful message of the Gospel,” stated Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith of Portland, Oregon, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.

“The Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa enables the Church to support those who are in dire need of pastoral care and to inspire those whose faith and hope may be flagging,” Smith said.

Building upon the U.S. bishops’ 2001 statement “A Call to Solidarity with Africa,” the fund’s initiative seeks to “provide a serious, sustained response that will meet genuine needs, strengthen the capacity of the Church in Africa, and provide for effective and transparent accountability.”

The Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa awarded over $2.1 million in 2023 to 75 projects put forward by the bishops of Africa, including:

— Grants helping Kenyans and Ugandans recover spiritually from the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the disintegration of marriages and family violence.

— In Cameroon, cited by human rights groups for appalling prison conditions, Catholic prison chaplains have learned to document abuses and advocate for reform.

— The Sisters of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa received theological and practical training to apply Catholic social teaching to a broad range of threats to human life, from human trafficking to environmental degradation.

— In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the public sector is plagued by rampant financial corruption, diocesan and parish staff studied proper Church administration and financial stewardship.

— In South Africa and Namibia, ethnic groups received hymnals in the Xhosa and Rumanyo languages and a Bible in the language of the Rukwangali people.

Those who wish to support similar efforts and the Church of Africa can either donate year-round to #iGiveCatholicTogether or annually through their parish collection/e-offertory program on their diocese’s scheduled date of appeal.

“The Church helps people to praise God in their own language because God came to us speaking our languages,” Smith said.

“He wants to walk with everyone through whatever hardships or heartaches we suffer,” he concluded in the statement. “That is the purpose of the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. Gifts to this fund make God’s love tangible.”

Catholic priest prayed for Trump’s safety at Pennsylvania rally moments before shooting

Father Jason Charron. / Credit: YouTube screenshot/HolyProtectionsShrine.org

CNA Newsroom, Jul 14, 2024 / 06:40 am (CNA).

A Catholic priest who gave a benediction during former president Donald Trump’s rally Saturday told people they needed to pray for Trump moments before Trump was shot and wounded.

Father Jason Charron, a Ukrainian Catholic pastor, told CNA a group of about 15 to 20 people called him over to a barricade within the rally site as he was trying to leave shortly before Trump began speaking.

“I said to them: I prayed for him and his safety, but that they have to pray, as well, because there are people who want to kill him,” Charron said in a telephone interview with CNA late Saturday night. “And little did I think — literally a few minutes later there was this kind of indistinct sound, and people began leaving, and at that point I heard someone saying that that was a gunshot.”

A gunman trying to kill Trump fired several times at the former president, hitting the top of his right ear while killing a spectator and wounding two more, authorities said.

Charron said he met briefly with Trump before the former president went out to address the crowd at the rally, which took place in an outdoor venue at Butler Farm Show in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

“I spoke with him regarding the situation in Ukraine and shook his hand. It wasn’t a very in-depth conversation,” Charron said.

The priest told CNA that the Trump campaign contacted him a few days ago and asked him to offer a benediction at the rally. In an interview that aired on the “Pints with Aquinas” podcast Saturday night, Charron recounted the prayer he offered at the event.

“My prayer was one of protection. My prayer there was for the restoration of right relationships in our society — relationships at the individual level, at the familial level, at the societal level, such that our nation would be made great again in God’s sight. And our nation be made great again, I said, that our world be made great again, in God’s sight,” Charron said.

“All of this presupposes that people, first of all, begin to live their daily lives in accordance with God’s will,” the priest added.

Charron said he is aware of Trump’s policy pronouncements that conflict with Catholic teaching, including Trump’s recent statements saying he favors the availability of abortion pills. But he alluded to Trump’s pro-life actions, which include while he was president appointing three U.S. Supreme Court justices who helped form a majority that overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, which enabled states to ban abortion.

“If people are going to wonder why I was at a Trump rally, it wasn’t to canonize him or absolve him from his many imperfections,” Charron told CNA.

“His recent shyness on championing pro-life legislation is undesirable, and it’s not for that that I’m there, but to encourage him to build on the pro-life victories of his first administration,” he said.

Charron was ordained to the priesthood in the Ukrainian Catholic Church for the Diocese of St. Josaphat in 2008. He has served in parishes in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania and is currently pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Stained-glass window dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis creates a stir in English parish

Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. / Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy/Catholic Herald

London, England, Jul 14, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury is proud to be the first parish in England — to the best of its knowledge — to feature a stained-glass window dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis. 

Known as “The Millennial Saint,” Carlo was just 15 when he died, but the young computer programmer has left a powerful legacy that continues to inspire young people around the world.

Blessed Carlo, who died of leukemia, was a devout child with a deep love for the Blessed Sacrament and the rosary. He rarely missed an opportunity to attend daily Mass, and his dedication and faith continue to inspire thousands of young people worldwide.

Although not yet canonized, London-born Carlo can, after being declared “blessed,” be venerated in a church with special permission from the local diocese.

There were two windows in St. Aldhelm’s church that lacked images, so the proposal was made to the pastoral council that an image of Blessed Carlo Acutis be included. As pastor of this parish, it was my hope that it would particularly attract young people who can relate to him as a contemporary figure. 

Permission was obtained, alongside permission being granted to venerate Blessed Carlo Acutis through a stained-glass window, and the stained-glass window was installed at St. Aldhelm’s in 2022.

Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy
Stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy

The window gained significant attention after Pope Francis informally announced that the second miracle attributed to Carlo was going to be approved, clearing the path for his sainthood. This announcement amplified the interest in Carlo’s story, drawing even more visitors to the church.

The window has already inspired many people, both young and old. The congregation and the town is immensely proud of this moment, which has not only put their church on the map but also drawn visitors from across the country.

It has even garnered special attention in media over the past two years.

The window was featured in Famiglia Cristiana (Issue No. 2, Jan. 8, 2023), an Italian weekly magazine published in Alba, Italy: The three-page article noted how people have been attracted to and impressed by the window and often inquire about the story of Carlo as a result. 

St. Aldhelm’s has found itself at the center of national attention thanks to an inspiring piece run by the Daily Telegraph. 

The article, titled “The video game-loving teen who was made a saint — and immortalized in a Wiltshire church window,” highlighted how the window depicts Carlo in a contemporary light, complete with a modern watch and mobile phone, symbolizing his unique blend of modernity and piety. The installation was judged a thoughtful choice to resonate with younger generations.

Since the publication of the Telegraph article, St. Aldhelm’s has seen a surge in visitors. Many are drawn specifically by the story of Carlo’s short but powerful life, eager to see the window that so beautifully captures his spirit. 

This newfound attention has filled the church with an air of excitement and reverence, as parishioners and visitors alike gather to admire the window and reflect on Acutis’ legacy.

The window itself, crafted by stained-glass artist Michael Vincent, has become a focal point for both locals and tourists. Its presence not only enhances the church’s aesthetic but also serves as a powerful reminder of Carlo’s enduring influence.

The artist has even prepared an additional pane to update Carlo’s title from “Blessed” to “Saint” upon his canonization.

Many visitors from Mamesbury came to St. Aldhelm’s for the St. Aldhelm’s Flower Festival on May 25, which coincided with the feature about Blessed Carlo in the Telegraph.

Several visitors mentioned they came after reading the Telegraph article, inspired by the wonderful story about Carlo.

That evening, an 87-year-old lady called to express how much the article had made her day. She has a great devotion to Carlo (as well as 14 grandchildren).

The day before, the parish quickly prepared about 100 booklets with a brief biography, quotes, and photos of Carlo, including the window at St. Aldhelm’s, so people could learn more about him. About 500 copies of the eight-page booklet have been printed for visitors and guests that come to see the window. 

Here is an impression left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window:

Inspirational note left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy
Inspirational note left by visitors after seeing the stained-glass window of Blessed Carlo Acutis at St. Aldhelm’s in Malmesbury, England. Credit: Courtesy of Father Thomas Kulandaisamy

In April this year, a 6-year-old girl was struck down with the rare neurological disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which left her entire body paralyzed. She was put into an induced coma and placed on a ventilator. Now, she has regained full movement in her upper body.

During her illness, parishioners of St. Aldhelm’s earnestly prayed to Blessed Carlo Acutis, asking for his intercession. We truly believe that Carlo’s intercession has greatly contributed to the girl’s speedy and remarkable recovery, and we remain hopeful that she will make a full recovery.

We truly believe that with the window and its appeal to young people and young families, St. Aldhelm’s will become a hub for reflection and spiritual growth. It will be a place where young people can gather, reflect on their own lives, and consider how they can dedicate themselves to God, initiating and making progress on the path to holiness.

We plan to place a kneeler in front of the window, providing a space for prayer alongside a place for people to leave their prayers and petitions, as well as responses to answered prayers.

Over the past three years, our efforts have been focused on the project of constructing a parish hall. This endeavor is crucial because our parish has never had a dedicated space for catechesis, children’s education, and social gatherings. As we strive toward this goal, having already raised nearly half of the required funds, we are filled with hope.

The recent influx of visitors, especially young people and children drawn to Blessed Carlo, who would be one of the youngest saints, highlights the urgent need for such a facility. This hall will serve as more than just a physical structure; it will be a place where our youth can gather, deepen their understanding of Blessed Carlo’s life and teachings, and grow spiritually. 

This will empower them to embody holiness and spread the light of faith wherever they go. We need this among our younger Catholics, now more than ever.

This article was originally published by the Catholic Herald in England on July 9, 2024, and has been adapted and reprinted by CNA with permission.

Catholic leaders react to Trump shooting: ‘Our country needs God’

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is rushed offstage during a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. / Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

CNA Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 20:57 pm (CNA).

Catholic ecclesial and political leaders across the United States offered their prayers for Donald Trump after an attempted assassination of the former president Saturday evening at a campaign event in Pennsylvania.

Among them was Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where the shooting took place.

“We are deeply shocked by news reports of the shooting at a political rally for former President Trump right across the street from one of our churches in Butler County,” Zubik said in a statement. 

“We are grateful for the swift actions of the Secret Service and our local first responders,” he added. “Let us join together in prayer for the health and safety of all, for healing and peace, and for an end to this climate of violence in our world. May God guide and protect us all.”

Other U.S. Church leaders echoed concern for the nation as a whole, which already was in the grips of a fever of extraordinary polarization before Saturday’s shocking events.

“Together with my brother bishops, we condemn political violence, and we offer our prayers for President Trump, and those who were killed or injured,” Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a statement Saturday night.

“We also pray for our country and for an end to political violence, which is never a solution to political disagreements,” Broglio added. “We ask all people of goodwill to join us in praying for peace in our country. Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.”

The archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSSR, also called on the Mary’s intercession. He invited prayers for the recovery of Trump and all victims of the shooting: “May the family of the deceased and wounded find consolation and hope, and may this outrage lead us, as Americans, to denounce all forms of political and gun violence and the rhetoric that incites it.”

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, archbishop of San Antonio and a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, asked for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose basilica in Mexico City he visited on Saturday afternoon.

“Political conflicts cannot and must not lead to violence,” he said in a statement issued from Mexico City. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, mother of Jesus Christ and our mother, guide us in these difficult times in our country. May we become peacemakers in our homes, our families, our workplaces, and our nation. We need peace in our world.”

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia said in a statement posted to Instagram late Saturday night that he was “deeply saddened and dismayed to learn of the shooting.”

“Americans must join in solidarity to condemn today’s act of political violence and violence in all forms. Working together, we can resolve our differences through peaceful dialogue and conquer the sin of hatred,” he said.

Earlier this summer, the USCCB issued a statement on political violence, urging all Christians and people of goodwill to abstain from political violence and instead “pursue what leads to peace and building up one another” through dialogue and seeking justice.

“Today’s events demonstrate the political tension that exists in our nation,” said Bishop Larry Kulick of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, which neighbors Butler County but does not include it.

“Violence can never be a legitimate part of the democratic process,” he said. “I ask all the faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg to join in me in prayer for those who have died, those who mourn their loss, and those who have been injured.”

Kulick added: “My heartfelt prayers go out to all of those who have been affected by this horrific event.”

Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, soon after the news of the shooting broke.

“I would like to offer prayers for President Trump and all those who were injured at the rally in Pennsylvania,” he said. “We must turn from the path of violence. May the Lord bless our troubled nation.”

Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, called Saturday’s shooting “a tragic day for our country.”

“There is no place for political violence in the United States. The events today demonstrate the great need for prayer — it is a time to pray for peace and pray for an end to violence,” he said.

“We must also pray for those who may have been killed or injured in the event, and their families, and pray for the quick recovery of former President Trump,” he added. “Moving forward, may we show love and respect for one another in this great country.”

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City also offers his prayers for Trump “and those killed, injured, and traumatized Saturday at the rally in Pennsylvania.”

Coakley added: “Let us remember that violence is never the answer to our differences. And may God bless our nation, at this time marked by division.”

Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, expressed similar sentiments.

“Please pray for President Trump and his family and for the souls and families of those killed in this terrible incident,” he said. “Please pray for peace in our nation.”

Bishop Donald Hying, bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, also offered prayers for Trump and those injured in the shooting, adding: “Our country needs prayer and conversion. Our country needs God.”

Michael Warsaw, board chairman and CEO of EWTN, CNA’s parent organization, released the following statement: “This is a very very sad day for our country. We need to pray for the former president and all who have been impacted by this incident. We also need to redouble our prayers for our country.”

Kevin Roberts, the Catholic president of The Heritage Foundation, said the shooting was “no surprise” given years of bitterly heated rhetorical attacks against Trump.

“Today’s attempted assassination of Donald Trump is something many of us have been worried about,” Roberts said in a statement. 

“When the Radical Left spends years and millions of dollars calling Trump and every conservative ‘threats to democracy,’ it’s no surprise that today’s tragedy would happen,” he said. “We must pray for our country and all our leaders, and for an end to this inflammatory rhetoric of the Left and their media accomplices.”

This is a developing story.

National Catholic Register staff writers Matthew McDonald and Peter Laffin contributed to this story.

Trump injured at Pennsylvania rally in assassination attempt; shooter, rally attendee dead

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. / Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

CNA Newsroom, Jul 13, 2024 / 19:34 pm (CNA).

Former President Donald Trump suffered injuries in an assassination attempt at a rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, with the former president being escorted out of the venue with blood on his face after shots rang out.

The alleged shooter was reportedly killed by law enforcement and one attendee at the rally was also killed, according to media reports.

“The former president is safe,” the U.S. Secret Service said in a written statement on Saturday evening that did not say whether Trump was injured.

The incident took place at about 6:20 p.m. in Butler, Pennsylvania, shortly after the Trump rally began.

Secret Service tend to Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump onstage at a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Secret Service tend to Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump onstage at a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Secret Service agents shielded Trump as he appeared to lie on the floor of the stage.

Trump stood up and put his fist into the air before being whisked away by law enforcement officers. Blood was visible on the top of his right ear and on his right cheek.

Multiple media outlets reported that the alleged shooter was killed by law enforcement after the shooting took place. An attendee at the rally was also reportedly killed amid the shooting.

In a statement posted to Truth Social, the former president thanked law enforcement “for their rapid response on the shooting that just took place in Butler, Pennsylvania."

“Most importantly, I want to extend my condolences to the family of the person at the rally who was killed, and also to the family of another person that was badly injured,” Trump wrote. “It is incredible that such an act can take place in our country.”

“Nothing is known at this time about the shooter, who is now dead,” Trump said. “I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

National and church leaders, meanwhile, responded to the news with calls for prayers and with condemnation of the violence.

President Joe Biden on Saturday said he had been “briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania.”

“I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well. I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally as we await further information,” the president said.

“Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety,” Biden added. “There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, said in a statement that the U.S. bishops "condemn political violence, and we offer our prayers for President Trump, and those who were killed or injured."

"We also pray for our country and for an end to political violence, which is never a solution to political disagreements. We ask all people of goodwill to join us in praying for peace in our country. Mary, Mother of God and Patroness of the Americas, pray for us," Broglio said.

Bishop David Zubik, the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh where the shooting took place, released a statement Saturday night in which he expressed shock at “news reports of the shooting at a political rally for former President Trump right across the street from one of our churches in Butler County.”

“We are grateful for the swift actions of the Secret Service and our local first responders,” the bishop said. “Let us join together in prayer for the health and safety of all, for healing and peace, and for an end to this climate of violence in our world. May God guide and protect us all.”

Kevin Roberts, the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said in a statement that the shooting was “something many of us have been worried about.”

“When the Radical Left spends years and millions of dollars calling Trump and every conservative ‘threats to democracy,’ it’s no surprise that today’s tragedy would happen,” he said. “We must pray for our country and all our leaders, and for an end to this inflammatory rhetoric of the Left and their media accomplices.”

Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, Bishop Robert Barron on Saturday said he would “offer prayers for President Trump and all those who were injured at the rally in Pennsylvania.”

“We must turn from the path of violence,” the bishop said. “May the Lord bless our troubled nation.”

Jonah McKeown of CNA and Peter Laffin of the National Catholic Register contributed to this report.

This is a developing story.

Washington judge denies state attorney general’s subpoena against Seattle Archdiocese

“To be very clear: we are not seeking to cover up the sins of the past,” Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne emphasized. “We acknowledge that sexual abuse occurred; it is tragic and heartbreaking. We want abusers to be held accountable and we wish to dispel the fear that clergy sexual abuse is rampant today." Image of Saint James Cathedral in Seattle. / Credit: DarrylBrooks/Shutterstock

CNA Staff, Jul 13, 2024 / 10:45 am (CNA).

A judge in Washington state on Friday rejected the state attorney general’s request to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle as part of an ongoing investigation into sex abuse. 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson had said in May that his office had sent subpoenas to the Seattle Archdiocese, the Diocese of Spokane, and the Diocese of Yakima as part of an investigation into whether the bishoprics “used charitable funds to cover up allegations of child sex abuse by clergy.”

The attorney general’s office claimed in May that the Seattle Archdiocese “refused to cooperate” with the subpoena, leading the prosecutor to request that the King County Superior Court enforce the demand under the state’s Charitable Trusts Act, which imposes transparency requirements on large charitable trusts. 

In a press release shared with CNA, the archdiocese said that King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday “ruled that the attorney general does not have legal authority to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle,” with the judge “specifically noting that the religious exemption in the Charitable Trust Act” applies in this case. 

The archdiocese “is committed to transparency and accountability to help those who have been harmed heal and to rebuild trust,” the Friday statement said, adding that the archdiocese “remains steadfast in its offer to collaborate with the attorney general in a lawful manner.”

In a Thursday letter prior to the ruling, Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne had argued that the state charitable law contains “a very clear religious exemption that our Legislature adopted to limit the attorney general’s authority.”

Bishop Paul D. Etienne. CNA file photo.
Bishop Paul D. Etienne. CNA file photo.

“Because of this clear religious exemption, we simply cannot comply” with the subpoena, the archbishop wrote. “Doing so puts First Amendment rights and the foundational concept of separation of church and state at risk.” 

The prelate further argued that the prosecutor’s request was “too broad” and that complying with the subpoena would involve “many months to produce irrelevant documents” and would “waste millions of dollars for us and for taxpayers.”

“To be very clear: We are not seeking to cover up the sins of the past,” the archbishop added. “We acknowledge that sexual abuse occurred; it is tragic and heartbreaking. We want abusers to be held accountable and we wish to dispel the fear that clergy sexual abuse is rampant today, because it is not.”

In a Friday statement following the ruling, meanwhile, Ferguson’s office reiterated its claim that the prosecutor “has authority under the Charitable Trusts Act to investigate organizations’ use of charitable funds.”

“We plan to immediately appeal this decision because Washingtonians deserve a full public accounting of the Church’s involvement in and responsibility for the child sexual abuse crisis,” Ferguson said. 

The prosecutor told local media that if the ruling “means we have to go all the way up to the state Supreme Court, that’s absolutely what we’re going to do.”

In May the Seattle Archdiocese had said that it “welcome[d] this investigation because we have a shared goal of abuse prevention, healing for victims, and transparency.” 

The archdiocese said it had been “working closely with the attorney general’s team for months” on the investigation prior to the legal dispute.