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Fr. Timothy P. Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, issued the following statement regarding the violence at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

I join with the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and all people of good will in condemning the violence at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. I am praying for our federal legislators and their staffs, those responsible for protecting public safety, and for all who are working to make our divided, wounded country “a more perfect union.”

The peaceful transfer of power is a sacred American value and one we must work together to protect. Inflammatory rhetoric and persistent attacks on the legitimacy of the election are not only irresponsible, they undermine the foundations of our democracy and open the door to violence. As we use this difficult moment to recommit to our work of reconciliation and justice, I am reminded of a passage from the Decrees of the Jesuits’ 36th General Congregation, promulgated on the Feast of the Epiphany four years ago but no less relevant today:

“In many societies, there is an increased level of conflict and polarization, which often gives rise to violence that is all the more appalling because it is motivated and justified by distorted religious convictions. In such situations, Jesuits, along with all who seek the common good, are called to contribute from their religious-spiritual traditions towards the building of peace, on local and global levels.”

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